By Glenn Davis
Trainer Kris Lees is hopeful Gem Song can turnaround a frustrating Sydney autumn when the colt lines up in the Group 3 Gunsynd Classic at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
The Gunsynd Classic will be a guide to whether Lees targets the Group One Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) or Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm in June.
“He’s possibly best suited to 1600 metres but if he shows he wants to stay we’ll push on to the Derby, otherwise it’ll be the Stradbroke,” Lees said.
Gem Song was beaten less than one length when fourth to Fasika in the Listed South Pacific Classic (1400m) at Randwick on April 13 following his fifth in the Listed Darby Munro at Randwick on March 23.
The Newcastle trainer was forced to lower the autumn bar for Gem Song after some minor setbacks ruled him out his main targets in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas and Group 1 Doncaster Mile at Randwick.
The son of Your Song was scratched from a clash with The Autumn Sun in the Hobartville Stakes due to a skin infection and in another minor setback was withdrawn from the Group 3 Liverpool City Cup at Rosehill.
Gem Song was forced to miss the Liverpool City Cup after suffering a superficial cut while at the beach.
“It was more frustrating than anything else with him in the autumn,” Lees said.
“He was getting ready for the Randwick Guineas and Doncaster Mile when he had a few setbacks.
“He had to have a stitch in a small cut he suffered when I took him to the beach before Liverpool City Cup and that came on top of a skin infection which ruled him out of the Hobartville.”
Gem Song is raced by the powerful Goree Stud and is a winner of four of his eight starts.
His best win was in the Group 3 Eskimo Prince (1200m) at Warwick Farm in February and was second in the Listed Dulcify Stakes at Randwick in September.
Lees was happy with Gem Song’s latest effort.
“In his first up run in the Darby Munro he got back on a heavy track and ran fifth then it was a good run when he ran fourth in the South Pacific Classic,” he said.
“He had a big weight that day and he was well back and caught wide early on.”
Racing Queensland webnews April 25