The Memsie Stakes has attracted another big name player with trainer Kris Lees indicating that multiple Group 1 winner Le Romain will be heading to Caulfield for the $1 million weight for age contest over 1400m on September 2.
Le Romain pleased Lees with a handy barrier trial win over 1000m on his home track at Newcastle this morning and the rising five year old is on target to resume in the Group 2 $200,000 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on August 5.
“He’s come back in good order,” Lees told racing.com.
“He’s pretty professional and did everything right and while he’s still off fitness-wise, he’ll be ready to go in a couple of weeks.”
“We’ll probably head to the Memsie second-up so if we start off first-up in the Missile in Sydney, we’ll have four weeks to prepare for the race in Melbourne.”
The Melbourne Racing Club has doubled the purse for the Memsie Stakes which is now a $1m race but Lees said that the weight for age race was also a part of Le Romain’s Spring Carnival program even before the prizemoney increase was announced.
“To be honest, I thought it was the race to target before the extra prizemoney but that certainly confirmed things,” Lees said.
Le Romain is the winner of three Group 1 races and claimed the scalp of the odds on favourite Press Statement when he won his first Group 1 trophy in the $1m Girvan Waugh Randwick Guineas (1600m) at Randwick during the 2016 Sydney Autumn Carnival.
Le Romain’s next Group 1 victory came during the Melbourne Spring Carnival in the $1m Cantala Stakes (1600m) at Flemington and the four year old gelding was at his best again in the Autumn in Sydney this year when he beat Chautauqua in the Group 1 $500,000 BMW Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Randwick on March 4.
Winx then proved too strong for Le Romain who led the rest of the field home, seven and a quarter lengths behind the champion mare, in the Group 1 $1m China Horse Club George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on March 18.
Le Romain was then never in the hunt when fifteenth to It’s Somewhat in the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on April 1 but found some good form again at is next start when second to Tivaci in the Group 1 $600,000 Schweppes All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick a fortnight later.
Le Romain has earned just below the $2.2 million mark from six wins and nine minor placings from eighteen starts.