WYONG has been a happy hunting ground for Kris Lees.  

Aside from his beloved home track at Broadmeadow, Wyong is the leading Newcastle trainer’s second most successful provincial track with 155 winners, including the 2016 Gold Cup (2100m) with import Slow Pace, ridden by Robert Thompson.

Now he is banking on another couple of imports adding to his record there on Thursday at the Domeland sponsored meeting.

Lees will start Lygon Street in the Class 1/Maiden Plate (2100m) and Barazin in the Class 1 Handicap (1600m).

Kerrin McEvoy will ride Lygon Street, and stable apprentice Ben Osmond partners Barazin to lessen his 61.5kg topweight to 58.5kg.

Both horses recently made their debuts for their new stable; Lygon Street when runner-up at Wyong on June 13 in a Provincial Class 1/Maiden Plate (2000m), and Barazin ran fourth in a 1400m Class 1 Handicap at Newcastle on June 1.

Lygon Street, a four-year-old son of 2014 Epsom Derby winner Australia, had his first five starts in Ireland for one placing at Gowran Park over 1911m in June last year.

He hadn’t raced since August when he lined up at Wyong, and stable spokesman Danny Greer says he has taken good improvement from his first run for the stable.

“Kerrin (McEvoy) rode him then, and was happy to stay with him,” Greer said.

“Lygon Street ran well first-up, but found one better (Rico Suave) on the day.

“He gives the impression he will stay all day, and going an extra 100m will suit him, and he is getting fitter.”

Barazin, who raced in the Australian Bloodstock colours, is fronting up for his fourth start after having his first three starts in France.

The four-year-old son of Siyouni won a 3YO Maiden over 1800m on debut in April last year before being placed at Lyon-Parilly (1600m) and Saint-Cloud (2000m).

“Barazin’s first-up run for us was sound enough at 1400m, and Kris has given him three and a half weeks before starting him again,” Greer said.

“On his French form and the fact he has also taken improvement from the June 1 race suggests stepping up to 1600m is definitely more suitable.

“That plus the fact he drops 3kg on the weight he carried at Newcastle are in his favour.”

Locally-trained Aix En Provence will be a tough rival for Barazin to crack.

With Domeland sponsoring, their Wyong trainer Sara Ryan chose to bypass a Hawkesbury engagement on Tuesday with Aix En Provence to oppose Barazin in the Class 1 Handicap.

And whereas Kerrin McEvoy was in the Lees’ camp earlier with Lygon Street, he is in the Domeland corner this time, partnering Aix En Provence.

The three-year-old is a model of consistency, having not missed a placing in his six career starts, including a breakthrough victory in a Kembla Grange Super Maiden Plate (1400m) on May 18.

He subsequently was narrowly beaten by Bonus Tempus in a Midway Class 1 Handicap (1500m) there on June 4.

Whilst Aix En Provence wears ear muffs pre-race, Ryan has decided to add winkers for this assignment.

Star apprentices Dylan Gibbons and Zac Lloyd, with nine wins each, are locked in a tight battle for junior riding honours this season.

Both have already tasted Group 1 success; Gibbons twice on Explosive Jack in last year’s Sydney Cup and Kalapour in the Tancred Stakes at Rosehill Gardens earlier this year, whilst Lloyd won the recent Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm on Stefi Magnetica.

The jockeys and trainers premierships also are evenly poised, with only meetings on July 16 and 25 remaining after Thursday.

Jockey Tyler Schiller (10 wins) lead Keagan Latham and Ash Morgan by two, whilst Wyong’s Kim Waugh and Sydney’s Peter and Paul Snowden currently top the trainers’ table with 10 winners a piece.