Trainer Tony McEvoy has revealed that the 2015 Australian Cup is the on the agenda for imported stayer Le Roi.
Le Roi finished his 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a tough staying win in the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) at Flemington on November 8 and McEvoy is confident that the Areion entire has returned in excellent condition after he finished fourth behind Cosmic Endeavour in a barrier trial over 1200 metres at Royal Randwick on February 2.
McEvoy told Sky Racing HQ that the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) is the major 2015 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival goal for Le Roi, but he confirmed that the six-year-old would head to Melbourne to run in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on February 28 and the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 14 in the lead-up to the Group 1 event at Rosehill Gardens on March 28.
“I’ve had to tinker with that a little bit,” McEvoy said.
“He trialed also beautifully yesterday and he will trial again.
“He will have a trial here at Hawkesbury on the 16th and then he runs first-up in the St George (Peter Young Stakes) in Melbourne on the 28th.
“It just suits him a little bit better.
“With the Ranvet changing now I just couldn’t quite fit the right amount of runs into him to get him to The BMW.
“The St George-Australian Cup- The BMW will be his program this time in.”
Le Roi started his racing career in France, but was sent to Australia to continue racing for the McEvoy stable and he worked his way through the grades in his inaugural racing campaign in Australia before he recorded a maiden win at Group level in the 2013 edition of the Group 3 Summer Cup (2400m) at Rosehill Gardens.
The entire was restricted to just two race starts in the 2013 due to injury, but he returned to racing in 2012 and took out the Thomas Hanley Handicap (1600m) at Moonee Valley and finished ninth in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m).
Le Roi was narrowly denied race wins in both the Listed Cranbourne Cup (2025m) and Group 2 Moonee Valley Cup (2500m) at the start of his 2014 Spring Racing Carnival and he was able to return to winning form when he took out the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, but he was found to be lame at the conclusion of the race.
Le Roi is currently available at 2015 Australian Cup odds of $26, while Protectionist ($4.50) is a clear favourite from Happy Trails ($10) and He’s Your Man ($10).