Ucalledit not a certain starter in the Missile Stakes

Kris Lees is expected to decide in the next 24 hours whether to start winter wonder Ucalledit from a wide gate in the Group Two Missile Stakes.

The gelding has been in a rich vein of form with impressive wins in the Civic and Winter Stakes at his past two starts and given the recent record of race-fit horses capturing the Missile, connections have been keen to target him towards the opening black-type race of the Sydney season.

But an awkward draw in barrier 10 of 11 has Lees reassessing that plan, although a final call will be made after consultation with his owners.

“He was getting up in the weights so we thought a month between runs and back to this trip would suit,” Lees said.

“But the draw makes it a bit tricky, so we’ll have to decide if he takes his place. We’re on the fence at the moment.

“If he doesn’t run Saturday, he could possibly run next week but he will get a bit of weight there too.”

The past three winners of the race all had at least one lead-up run, Hard Empire (2022) and Phobetor (2021) having contested the Ramornie Handicap and Eduardo (2020) the July Sprint.

Ucalledit is one of five runners with recent racing, while six of Saturday’s contenders are resuming.

Lees will rely on Kalapour in the Premier’s Cup Prelude (1800m) after deciding to scratch new recruit Dawn Patrol, who he feels is still a couple of weeks away from being ready to return after a year on the sidelines.

A former Irish galloper, Kalapour has taken time to hit his straps in Australia but put together a string of strong performances during the Brisbane winter carnival where he claimed the Group 3 Chairman’s Handicap (2000m) and placed behind the promising Kukeracha in the Premier’s Cup (2400m).

Lees said the gelding had always shown talent and he wasn’t surprised to see him step up.

“No, that was the reason he was up there. We really thought he could take that next step,” he said.

“He has freshened up nicely. He’s got that bit of Queensland residual fitness so he should sprint well.”

About RS NewsWire

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