There will be a certain amount of pride for Newcastle trainer Kris Lees if Le Romain, Tactical Advantage, Graff or Invincible Gem can take the first running of The Hunter on Saturday.
Lees has built the biggest stable in Newcastle but feature races on his home track have been hard to come by, in particular the Newcastle Cup, which still eludes him. The chance to race for $1 million in The Hunter has had Lees setting his stable stars for the first stand-alone Saturday at Broadmeadow since 2000.
“It is just a big day for us. I didn’t think I would never able to race for a $1 million in one race up here,” Lees said. “Of course I want to win, but it isn’t that easy in any race on a metropolitan Saturday meeting, and this is like a carnival day.
“We have been able to set some of best horses for the race and, if they perform to their level, they will be in the finish.