Trainer Kris Lees has undoubtedly the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) as the major target for Le Romain, when the rising four-year-old returns to racing during the forthcoming Spring Carnival.
Le Romain experienced something of a meteoric rise to prominence through the recent Sydney Autumn Carnival; producing a number of gallant at black type level highlighted by a maiden win at the highest level in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) on March 5th.
Having taken well to his time away from racing and subsequent return to work, Lees told Racing.com the Hard Spun gelding will work on the Wyong course proper alongside stable mate Lucia Valentina on Monday, and will be eased back into competition in spring.
“The Epsom looks a logical target considering he won the Randwick Guineas over the same track and distance in the autumn,” Lees said.
“His first couple of runs will show us whether he has made the necessary improvement required heading in to his four-year-old season but at this stage all the signs are good.”
Trialling well in the lead-up to his competitive debut, Le Romain stamped himself as one to watch when third in a Wyong minor over 1200m in September last year; progressing to success in the Harry Meyn Foundation Maiden (1200m) and second behind Hellbent in the Ranvet BM67 (1200m) before returning to the paddock.
Resuming this year for success in the Schweppes Quality (1000m) at Randwick on January 23rd, Le Romain placed second in each of the Group 3 Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m) and Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) leading into his impressive start-to-finish win in the Randwick Guineas.
Jumping from the gates well in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) most recently on March 19th, Le Romain took a good position in running just off the pace of the race’s early leaders but suffered an unfortunate ailment in his off-hind leg; finishing seventh and forced to return to the paddock.
The 2016 Epsom Handicap will run as the feature race on Super Saturday at Royal Randwick this spring; Saturday October 1st.