Alysha Collett chases more cup success with Itz Lily

Itz Lily and Alysha Collett will be aiming to win another feature country race when they contest Thursday’s Coffs Harbour Cup. Photo: Bradley Photos.

Alysha Collett boasts an unbeaten record on the Kris Lees trained, Itz Lily, as the pair get ready for Thursday’s Coffs Harbour Cup.

The in-form hoop, who has won all three of her rides on the six-year-old, last teamed up with Itz Lily when winning the Muswellbrook Cup back in March.

Despite her terrific record, Collett admitted she had to chase after the ride in Thursday’s feature race over the 1605m. 

“I’ve only had three rides on her for three wins – she has been a good mare for me,” Collett said. 

“I had to chase the ride back down again. I sort of took a wild guess where she was going, and I just rung them, and I asked if I could ride her again.

“If the city boys were riding there, I am sure one of them would be on her but I’m lucky enough to ride her again.”

The $5 chance looks well placed in the strong field but has drawn poorly with gate 13 and will be forced to carry 59kg.

“I haven’t had a really in-depth look at the field yet, but she is very versatile,” Collett said.  

“She can go forward, but she probably prefers to be ridden back, and the gate doesn’t help, but I will talk to Kris and see what he wants to do.

“Another thing is that she is lugging a bit more weight, so that will be a factor in whether we go forward or back.”

When asked why she had tasted so much success on Itz Lily, Collett explained that she was a very likable mare that was easy to ride.

“She is my type of horse, she is very comfortable, she is push-button to ride,” Collett said.

“She is very easy to ride, and I think anyone could jump on and ride her and be comfortable.”

Collett wasn’t going into the race expecting a walk in the park though.

“She is the quality horse of the field, but there is a question mark on a few runners,” Collett said. 

“It’s not an easy race and she has a few things going against her, but we will see how she goes.”

The $150,000 race looks to be Kris Lees’ for the taking, with the Newcastle trainer also preparing $3.90 race favourite, Luncies.

Itz Lily and Alysha Collett powered their way to a Muswellbrook Cup victory back in March. Can they do it again at Coffs Harbour on Thursday? Photo: Muswellbrook Race Club.

Jeff Penza jumps aboard the five-year-old former English galloper that has won five times from eight starts, which includes a last-start Benchmark 78 Handicap victory over the 1800m at Hawkesbury. 

Opacity is the 61kg top weight for John O’Shea and was a winner in town three starts back, and with Christian Reith in the saddle, he is a $5 chance.

Also, well in the market at $5.50 is Greek Hero for Jason Deamer and Ashley Morgan. 

It shapes as another big day of country racing at Coffs Harbour, with gates opening for members at 10.30am and for the general public at 11.30am before racing jumps at 12.15pm.