Le Romain’s regular rider Christian Reith feels the Randwick Guineas winner has come back better than ever as he prepares to kick off his 2016 Spring Carnival campaign in the Group 3 $125,000 Bob Ingham Show County Quality (1200m) at Randwick on Saturday.
The Kris Lees trained Le Romain caused a huge upset when he beat odds on favourite Press Statement in the Group 1 $1m Girvan Waugh Randwick Guineas (1600m) at Randwick on March 5.
Lees then gave the Hard Spun gelding one more Autumn run but he failed to run out the 2000m when seventh to Tarzino in the Group 1 $600,000 Sky Racing Rosehill Guineas (2000m) at Rosehill on March 19.
Le Romain has had two barrier trials to prepare him for his return to the race track, a second in an 845m Wyong trial on July 19 followed by a third in a 1000m Gosford trial with Reith in the saddle.
“I think the horse has come back bigger and better and is ready to take that step,” Reith told Racing NSW News.
“He gave me a good feel at Gosford and he’s definitely come back stronger and more mature.”
Le Romain is facing some tough opposition at his first run as a four year old but Reith is expecting a forward showing against the older horses.
“I expect a forward showing from him on Saturday. He’s working well and doing everything right this preparation so it’s exciting.” Reith said.
“He loves the big, open tracks and he’s showed that he can sprint when he’s fresh so it’s all systems go.”
“It will be a test, of course. He’s going from the three-year-old ranks and stepping out against the older open-class horses so he’s got to take that step.”
Bookies at Ladbrokes.com.au think Le Romain can take the extra step and he currently sits at the top of the market order at $4.50 for the Show County Quality ahead of Vashka at $4.80 and Missile Stakes winner Tycoon Tara at $5.
Missile Stakes third placegetter Mount Nebo has had a little bit of early support, firming in from $7.50 to $6 just ahead of Boss Lane at $6.50.
Show County Quality market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.50 Le Romain, $4.80 Vashka, $5 Tycoon Tara, $6 Mount Nebo, $6.50 Boss Lane, $12 Generalife, $15 Famous Seamus, Decision Time, $16 Messene.