Lee confident of Felixtrinidad
LOCAL trainer Stephen Lee hopes a return to home soil is the catalyst to Felixtrinidad returning to the winners’ circle at Ballina today.
“He loves his home track, always races well at Ballina,” Lee suggested of the seven-time winning six-year-old.
Felixtrinidad heads a strong team from the Lee stable in the Pioneer Travel Alstonville-Wollongbar Cup (1300m).
The gelding’s Ballina record of four wins and two placings from nine starts echoes Lee’s sentiments.
Second up today and drawn well (barrier 2), Lee believes Felixtrinidad, a Ben Looker mount, can breakthrough for his first win since scoring at Doomben on August 30 in 2008.
The gelding resumed from a 172-day break over 1200m at Grafton on March 15 finishing 3.8 lengths fifth to Starzando and has been given a 32-day freshen up.
“He trialled well before Grafton and his run wasn’t too bad,” Lee said.
“He just knocked up the last bit. He was going to be right in the finish before his condition gave out. For some reason or another he doesn’t race at his best at Grafton.
“At home at Ballina it’s a different story. He’s a better horse kept on the fresh side and I’ve been happy with his work.
“It looks a race he’s capable of winning.”
Four-year-old Urnfield tackles the Il Postino benchmark 70 Handicap (1600m) with Garry Baker in the saddle.
The gelding, with two wins and three placings from 14 starts, steps up considerably in class but Lee believes Urnfield’s consistent form merits the chance to tackle a harder event.
Urnfield finished a last start fourth to Hock It, beaten under a length, in a Class 2 event at the Gold Coast on March 27.
“Ideally I’d prefer the race to be over 2000 metres but Urnfield has trained on good since the Gold Coast,” Lee said.
“Garry (Baker) reckons he should have just about won last time. He’s not a kid’s horse.
“He probably should have won a couple of more with more luck.”
Grafton Guineas-bound Goldwatch‘n’chain continues his march towards the Grafton July carnival in the Impress Labels & Print Benchmark 50 Handicap (1600m).
“I like the horse a lot; he’s going good,” Lee said.
“He’s suffered at the weights winning a couple of races early in his career but I think he’s a horse that will only get better.