Le Roman showed that he is in for a good 2017 Autumn Carnival with a tough first up win in the Group 3 $150,000 The Chi-X Southern Cross Stakes (1200m) at Randwick today.
The Kris Lees trained Le Romain was having his first run back since winning the Group 1 $1m Cantala Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on the first day of 2106 four day Melbourne Cup Carnival and successfully lumped 61kg to a narrow victory.
Winning jockey Hugh Bowman positioned Le Romain ($4.20) outside of the leader Dothraki ($3.50 equal favourite) and nursed the four year old up the rise before letting him lengthen stride.
Le Romain first beat off Dothraki and then was able to hold off the strong finishing burst of runner up Big Money ($11) with Snippets Land ($21) also finding the line hard into third spot.
The Peter and Paul Snowden trained Dothraki set the pace for Tye Angland and after trying hard in the straight under 58kg finished just over a length behind Le Romain in fourth position.
The disappointment of the race was the easing equal favourite Impending who was put into the box seat by Brenton Avdulla after being slightly slow out of the barrier but after enjoying a sweet run behind the leaders throughout the race, failed to run on in the straight, winding up in sixth position.
The John O’Shea trained Impending opened up as the clear favourite at $2.30 but was unwanted in the betting to end up on equal terms with Dothraki.
Le Romain could be chasing another win over the famous Randwick Mile in the Group 1 $3m Doncaster Mile (1600m) on April 1 after winning the Group 1 $1m Girvan Waugh Randwick Guineas (1600m) as a three year old during the 2016 Sydney Autumn Carnival.
It is also possible that Le Romain could take on super mare Winx in the weight for age Group 1 $1m George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on March 18.
“He’ll go to the Canterbury Stakes next then the George Ryder before the Doncaster,” Lees said.
“He’s matured and filled out into a really nice horse now that he’s older.”