Slot Holder: Damion Flower
Not A Single Doubt – No Penalty
Trainer: Kris Lees
Jockey: Hugh Bowman
From fairly modest beginnings, Clearly Innocent has risen quickly through the grades to be one of the nation’s most talented sprinters. He started out with Greg Bennett at Scone and was an impressive winner of the 2016 Country Championship Final at Royal Randwick.
Since transferring to the Kris Lees stable at Newcastle the gelding has gone to another level with a Group 1 win in the Kingsford-Smith Cup (1300m) at Eagle Farm and a brave third in the Stradbroke Handicap with top weight and a wide barrier.
Clearly Innocent earned his slot in the Everest with an eye-catching third in the Group 2 Premiere Stakes at Royal Randwick on September 30 and it’s worth noting he has an imposing second-up record.
Trainer Kris Lees has long said Clearly Innocent would be set to peak in The Everest if he gained a slot and saw nothing to change that view after his first-up run in the Premiere.
“He is probably a horse that is best when he can wind up and he didn’t get that chance today. The way he sprinted when he got clear at the end showed he would be a chance in the Everest,’’ Lees said.