Trainer Kris Lees is hoping to step Asharani up in class for her next run after the Phoenix Thoroughbreds owed filly took her record to three wins in five starts with a victory at Hawkesbury on Tuesday.
The daughter of I Am Invincible was making her second appearance for the Hamilton South based handler and was again impressive has she followed up her success last time out. Despite being caught slightly further back than usual, on a soft rated track, the three-year-old put in a taking turn of foot to produce a late surge and win going away under jockey Brenton Avdulla. A pleasing victory for Lees with his charge showing versatility in her running style.
“I thought she ideally needed to race a bit closer but speaking to Brenton post-race he said she was always comfortable about where she was, and she was strong through the line. He felt he was in control a long way from home and he believed she would be better suited over further.”
The fact the filly is having such success isn’t that surprising to her trainer. Since joining the yard, Lees has been impressed with what he’s found and is encouraged by her development.
“She is an impressive looking filly,” explained Lees. “She’s always shown us a bit in her work, and we’ve always thought she’d be better in the softer ground, and she showed that in her first-up win on testing going. Today was a little firmer, so I was happy to see that she reacts well on both surfaces, so it’s certainly encouraging. She arrived in really order, and she’s held her condition. I’m pleased where she’s at physically and hopefully she can continue to progress.”
But the question is how far and high up the ladder can that progression take Asharani? Already tested in Group company her new trainer has his eyes firmly placed on stakes success in the not too distant future while at the same time keeping his ambitions in check.
“There’s still a way to go, but she’s a three-year-old filly taking on older horses and beating them, so I think at some stage we test her at the higher level. We’ll possibly even head over to Brisbane for the Winter Carnival given she’s already shown she can handle soft ground so that might be a nice option for her. To be fair to her, she’s been placed well for her last two runs, but she is progressing nicely and gaining some confidence.”
Before those targets can be shot at the multiple Group One-winning trainer is keen to get her some more experience, and after giving the filly a few easy days to assess how she has taken her latest win, he hopes to formulate a plan that will see her take on better horses.
“I think she’s ready to take on Metropolitan class maybe a ‘mid-weeker possibly’.” said Lees. “Again we’ll keep an eye on the stakes races in Brisbane to see if there are any holes there that could suit her to see if she reacts well at the higher level.”