Options abound for resuming G1 Queensland Oaks winner

Trainer Kris Lees has modest expectations for Amokura when the Queensland Oaks winner resumes at Rosehill, but longer-term he is hoping she might develop into a Caulfield Cup contender.

The lightly raced mare will kick off her campaign in Saturday’s Vale Lonhro Handicap (1500m) and while Lees isn’t anticipating a winning return, he is keen to see a positive performance.

“It’s probably too short for her, but it will be a nice run to bring her on for the preparation,” Lees said.

“Everything is on the table at the moment. We will see how sharp she looks first time out and then we will step her up in trip with no real definitive plan just yet.”

Provided Amokura returns in good order, Lees is likely to look for a race over the Brisbane winter carnival where she flourished 12 months ago, graduating from a Class 1 win over 1850m at the Sunshine Coast to capture the Group 1 Oaks (2200m).

While she had a light spring, she proved her Queensland performance was no fluke with an eye-catching third in the Group 2 Matriarch Stakes (2000m) at Flemington, then didn’t make it back into work in time for the Sydney autumn carnival races.

“She was a little bit tender in the feet through the spelling process, so we held her back with a view to giving her a few runs over the winter and then preparing her for the spring,” Lees said.

“I wouldn’t rule out a Caulfield Cup with her if she can take that next step.

“She is never going to be a really robust filly, she is a long, lighter-framed filly, but she is a lot bigger than she was this time last year.”

Saturday’s benchmark 100 Handicap has attracted a quality field, headlined by Summer Cup winner Lion’s Roar and talented pair Grebeni and Jimmysstar.

Lees’ Rosehill contingent will also include mares Razeta and Powerful Peg who will both contest the Dennis Jamieson Handicap (1300m).

Razeta is being prepared for the Group 3 Dark Jewel Classic (1400m) at Scone, while Powerful Peg heads to Rosehill after her scheduled assignment at Randwick last Saturday was abandoned due to the weather and track conditions.

“Razeta was good last start. She is a little bit tricky to place having won a couple of stakes races, but we will put a claimer (apprentice Benjamin Osmond) on her and she can take some weight relief on Saturday,” Lees said.

“She will run here and then probably go on to Scone three weeks later.”Powerful Peg, she’s a bit similar.

“She has lost a little bit of her consistency, but she is up and grade and I’ve been happy with her.”

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