Kris Lees’ two high profile Spring contenders Le Romain and Invincible Gem are set for a rematch when they kick off their 2019 Spring Carnival campaign in the Group 2 $200,000 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on August 10.
Invincible Gem and Le Romain finished first and second in the 2017 Missile Stakes and both were seen at the Newcastle barrier trials on Tuesday.
Le Romain was held together to finish third behind Delectation in an 800m trial while Invincible Gem was beaten less than three lengths when last of six in her trial over the same distance.
Lees was happy with Le Romain’s trial under Nash Rawiller and has programmed another trial on Friday week before resuming in the Missile Stakes.
“He looks in great order,” Lees told Racenet.
“It’s probably the first time he’s come back off a decent break for a few years.
“The last time he had a good long spell was after he had colic surgery a couple of years ago.
“He’s come back really well and he was very enthusiastic in his trial this morning.
“He’ll go back to the trials on Friday week then into the Missile Stakes on August 10.”
Le Romain has been a consistent Group 1 performer for several years and claimed his third win at the highest level with victory in the 2017 Group 1 $500,000 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Randwick while his last visit to the winner’s stall was in the Group 3 $150,000 Show County Quality (1200m) at Randwick at the beginning of the 2018 Spring Carnival.
Le Romain was placed once from five starts during the 2019 Sydney Autumn Carnival and was sent for a spell after finishing sixth to Pierata in the Group 1 $600,000 Schweppes All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on April 20.
Invincible Gem also pleased Lees with her trial and the mare will follow the same path as Le Romain and trial again on Friday week.
“She’s come up well,” Lees said.
“I think she’s returned as good as ever.
“She’ll do the same as Le Romain, trial Friday week and then a fortnight to the Missile. She beat him in the Missile a couple of years ago.
“She’s such a genuine mare and it was good to get a win with her in the autumn, she’d been out of the winner’s list for a while before that.”
Invincible Gem has been placed twice at Group 1 level and found the winner’s stall during the 2018 Sydney Autumn Carnival when she beat Daysee Doom in the Group 2 $200,000 Emancipation Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on March 30.
The I Am Invincible Mare was then given a break after finishing thirteenth in the Group 1 $1m Coolmore Legacy Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on Day Two of The Championships on April 13.