Le Romain will face the toughest test of his racing career to date in the 2016 Hobartville Stakes, but trainer Kris Lees is hopeful that the promising gelding can match it with the likes of Press Statement in the Group 2 event at Rosehill Gardens tomorrow.
Le Romain started his 2016 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival campaign with a strong win over the talented Deploy in the Schweppes Quality (1000m) at Royal Randwick on January 23 and he proved that he was capable of being competitive at black-type level when he finished second behind Spill The Beans in the Group 3 Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m) at the same venue on February 6.
Lees has been delighted with the way that Le Romain has performed in each of his race starts this preparation and he admits that Le Romain will need to go to another level in the Hobartville Stakes, but he believes that the son of Hard Spun can be a factor in the finish if he receives luck in running from his tricky barrier draw.
“He has come up really well this preparation,” Lees said.
“He has always shown us a little bit at home, but he had only won a maiden going into this preparation and he has certainly gone to the next level.
“It is a good test for him tomorrow because he meets these better credentialed horses at the set weights and on firm ground, so he may have just had a couple of things in his favour at his last start.
“It will certainly tell us where we are at anyway.
“Spill The Beans was very impressive and he is on trial at the trip, but in my blokes favour is that he has had the extra run and that could hold him in good stead if it is a tight battle late.
“I thought he had a really good chance with a soft run and if he can get the right type of run from that type of alley, I am confident that he can factor in the finish.”
Le Romain has been included in the nominations for both the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) and Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m), but Lees will not make any decisions on where the three-year-old will head until after the Hobartville Stakes.
Le Romain is currently available at 2016 Hobartville Stakes odds of $16 with Ladbrokes, while Press Statement ($2.50) is a clear favourite from Spill The Beans ($5.50), Vanbrugh ($8.50), Montaigne ($9) and Wolf Cry ($9).