Newcastle trainer Kris Lees is hoping to have three runners in the group 1 Stradbroke Handicap but he may not have a starter in the other remaining winter group 1 in Brisbane.
The JJ Atkins Stakes for two-year-olds and the Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm on June 6 are the only group 1s on offer north of the border this winter after the rest of the carnival's elite races were abandoned because of COVID-19 restrictions and the associated losses.
Lees appeared to have two hopes for the JJ Atkins after exciting wins on debut from Kinloch and The Bopper. However, Kinloch has been spelled after an unplaced effort at Randwick.
The Bopper looked a chance of going onto the group 1 after dominating the $100,000 Inglis 2YO Challenge at Scone last Friday at his second start but Lees told his website on Monday that: "A final decision hasn't been made, but it's likely he will go for a spell."
In the Stradbroke, Lees was planning to run Chief Ironside, Graff and Miss Fabulass. Of his other nominations, Le Romain has been spelled and Tactical Advantage will instead run in the Bob Charley Stakes at Randwick on June 6.
Lees said Miss Fabulass would be an acceptor at Randwick and for the group 2 Victory Stakes at Eagle Farm this Saturday. The Victory Stakes offers the winner a Stradbroke start.
"We'll see how both races shape up and then make a decision," he said. "I'd like to see her draw a good barrier in at least one of the races."