Lloyd Williams-owned import Hosier (Ire) has earned a ticket into the The Big Dance after stamping his class on the $150,000 Coffs Harbour Cup with a determined win.
The first horse Kris Lees has trained for leviathan owner Williams, Hosier ($2.15 fav) ensured the partnership got off to a perfect start, settling third for Hugh Bowman before getting to the outside in the straight and finishing best to score by three-quarters of a length over The Ritz ($6.50).
The winner and runner-up both earned eligibility for the $2 million The Big Dance (1600m) at Randwick on November 1 and Lees expected his charge, who was sporting a winter coat, to continue to improve into his preparation.
“He was good late. I think he will improve off the run, just watching how he raced,” Lees said. “He has got a bit of cleaning up to do (in the coat) but onwards and upwards.
“He did find under pressure, which is you want to see, so good, tough win. It’s a pleasure to have the (Williams) colours in the stable and more importantly, to win a race for them.”
A former European, Hosier (Ire) won his first four Australian starts for Victorian trainer Robert Hickmott and was sent to Lees after placing over a mile at Caulfield in May. Bowman felt the six-year-old was open to good improvement and was in the right hands to keep progressing.
“He’s a horse that does make his own luck and Mr Williams has obviously sent him up here with a purpose. Kris has put the polish on and there are more things in store for him,” Bowman said.
Hosier (Ire) gave Lees his second consecutive win in the Coffs Harbour Cup (1600m) after the Newcastle trainer claimed the race with Itz Lily 12 months ago.