Trainer Tony McEvoy believes that Le Roi deserves his place in the 2014 Queen Elizabeth Stakes field and is confident that the imported galloper will be competitive in the Group 1 event at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Le Roi is currently available the lengthy Queen Elizabeth Stakes odds of $101, but McEvoy told Racing Ahead such a lucrative price is rude for a horse that is taking good form into the $4 million race following his comfortable win in the Silver Thomas Hanley Handicap (1600m) at Moonee Valley on March 29.
“I think that he can and that is why he is there,” McEvoy said when asked if Le Roi will be competitive in when he takes his place in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes field.
“I ran this horse in The BMW (last year) and we thought that he would be very competitive and he only got beaten three lengths and he had a bowed tendon when he came into the mounting yard.
“He wasn’t far off them then and I think that he had furnished as a horse.
“I know that he is now carrying an injury, but I think that he is a very high-class horse.
“This is the sort of race that, if he was in the right form, that we would give him a chance to run in.
“He was unlucky not to win first start back after a year off when a horse fell in front of him at Morphettville and then he won at Moonee Valley very impressively.
“It is very exciting.”
Le Roi spent a year away from racing after injuring his tendon when eighth behind Fiveandahalfstar in the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill Gardens last year, but McEvoy said that the Areion entire has recovered fully from the problem.
McEvoy revealed that he had trained Le Roi as he normally would, following the potentially career-ending injury, and is confident that the five-year-old is ready for a return to Group 1 racing this weekend.
“In my opinion he is ready to run a mile and a quarter,” McEvoy said.
“He has just been trained as normal and he had to prove to me that he could be trained normally.
“He had a year’s rehab and he rehabbed beautifully and has been a tremendous patient for a stallion all the way through.
“You can’t win these races by nursing them and I’ve trained him on very strong.
“He has handled it very well.”
Le Roi has shown plenty of tactical versatility throughout his racing career and McEvoy said that he will be leaving it up to jockey Craig Williams to put the former French-trained galloper in a nice position in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes field.
“That is Craig’s job,” McEvoy said.
“As you saw over a mile at the Valley the other day he travelled third the rail and quickened off it a long way from home.
“He is a horse that has led and won and he is very adaptable.”
Le Roi is the clear outsider in 2014 Queen Elizabeth Stakes betting markets; with Carlton House ($3.80) a narrow favourite from the well-backed It’s A Dundeel ($4.40) and in-form mare Silent Achiever ($4.60).