Special Reward set for Carrington Stakes at Randwick

Kris Lees has coaxed multiple stakes winner Special Reward back into form, but he admits there was a time he was unsure whether the horse would ever return to his best.

The six-year-old is one of the fancied runners for the Listed Carrington Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday after snapping a run of outs to win the Razor Sharp Handicap two starts ago and finish runner-up in the Christmas Classic last time out.

The December sprint was his first victory since taking out the 2020 Newcastle Newmarket on his home track and followed a couple of sub-par campaigns last year when he couldn’t manage a top-five finish in six runs.

“I suppose I was starting to have a little bit of doubt, but there were still glimpses (of form) there,” Lees said.

“He has found his consistency, thankfully. Hopefully he can maintain that.”

Lees said he hadn’t changed too much in Special Reward’s training routine but riding him off the speed with cover had helped the horse rediscover his mojo.

Low barrier draws have also been instrumental, and he has again drawn ideally in gate two on Saturday.

“We ride him a little different and he has been fortunate to get the right gates, be covered up and get the right runs,” Lees said.

“He’s drawn soft again so he should run well again.”

Glyn Schofield reunites with Special Reward after partnering him in the Razor Sharp and the horse shares the second line of TAB fixed odds betting at $6.50, alongside his Christmas Classic conqueror Prime Candidate.

The third placegetter from that race,Through The Cracks, is a $4.60 favourite.

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