Gem Song to target Hall Mark Stakes

Kris Lees scratched Gem Song from the Star Kingdom Stakes at Rosehill on Saturday due to the heavy track but reinstated him when the meeting was postponed and moved to a better surface – fortuitously at his home circuit of Newcastle.

He was glad he did with the injury-plagued gelding notching his seventh career-win in the Group 3, 1200m feature.

“I wasn’t prepared to run him first-up on that type of track, with no knowledge they were coming here either, but it has worked out well,” Lees said.

“He loves this big type of circuit. He races well here and at Randwick.

“Hugh (Bowman ) presented him at the right time and he let down really well.”

Gem Song ($21) was having his first start since a three-run summer campaign that didn’t yield a placing.

But relishing a solid tempo and the soft conditions, he reeled off a strong finish to defeat Exoboom ($12) by 1-1/4 lengths with Art Cadeau ($15) an eye-catching third.

Lees will look for a similar grade of race for Gem Song, nominating the Hall Mark Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 16 as a likely target.

“We will probably wait until the Hall Mark Stakes or a race like that,” Lees said.

“We will just keep him in his right grade and try to keep him in winning form.”

The win gave Bowman a feature race double after he claimed the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (1850m) on Fangirl 35 minutes earlier.

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