The daunting prospect of taking on two horses considered worthy of tackling a Cox Plate has persuaded Kris Lees to resist the prize money in Melbourne and keep Attention Run closer to home.
The imported mare is a dual acceptor in two states but Lees has confirmed she will line up in the Listed City Tattersalls Club Cup (2400m) at Randwick on Saturday, rather than the $500,000 Moonee Valley Cup (2500m).
“It’s obviously better prize money in Melbourne, which nearly tempted us, but it (Sydney) looks the easier option of the two – just,” Lees said.
While the Melbourne race offers more than three times the prize money of Sydney it is also the Plan B for Humidor and Mr Quickie, first and second reserves for the Cox Plate respectively.
But Lees knows the Tattersalls Club Cup will be no picnic against the two horses at the top of betting.
Master Of Wine and Rapido Chaparro will both use the race as a litmus test of their staying progression when they stretch to 2400 metres for the first time.
Attention Run has the advantage of two recent runs over a similar journey, including a second to Hush Writer in the Newcastle Cup (2300m) last month but it is an inside barrier draw Lees says could be crucial.
“She has been up a long while but her Newcastle Cup run was terrific and again her Metrop run,” Lees said.
“She hasn’t had much luck in those two runs and she has finally got a soft draw which could be the telling factor she’s needed.”
Attention Run will be one of two runners for Lees along with Saunter Boy.
Having his first run since the winter carnival in Brisbane, Saunter Boy was down the track in the Newcastle Cup and continues to be a source of frustration for his trainer.
“The day he runs up to his trackwork we’ll see a different horse,” Lees said.
“He has worked very well for a while now but he has been disappointing race day.”
A field of 10 will contest the City Tattersalls Club Cup including Naval Warfare and Re Edit who will bid to extend the good recent record of Chris Waller who has won three of the past five editions.