Trainer Kris Lees has revealed that multiple Group 1 winner Le Romain will make his 2017 Autumn Carnival return in the Group 3 Southern Cross Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on February 11th.
Le Romain has been a standout performer for Lees through his entire racing career so far and was last seen claiming his second win at the highest level of racing via a dominant performance in the Group 1 Cantala Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on Derby Day.
Underlining the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) during The Championships as his major campaign target this time, Lees believes that the Southern Cross Stakes is an ideal launch pad for the Hard Spun gelding, as it will mean he will miss facing champion mare Winx.
“It’s the right distance and then he’ll probably go to the Canterbury Stakes,” Lees told AAP.
“He trialled well this morning and he’s in good order. He’ll trial again next Wednesday and then resume on the 11th.
“It was only a soft trial this morning but I’m pretty pleased with how he is coming up.”
Le Romain stamped himself as one to watch with a smart debut for third at Wyong in September 2015, and was returned to the paddock following another two impressive performances.
Having clearly taken benefit from his first campaign and time in the paddock when he resumed in 2016, Le Romain won the Schweppes Quality (1000m) first-up before making a strong transition to black type company for second in the Group 3 Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m).
Again finishing second behind champion colt Press Statement in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m), Le Romain turned the tables at the right time; leading from start to finish to win the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) at his next start.
Having returned to the paddock after finishing mid-pack in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m), the gelding out of Mignard finished second in each of the Group 3 Show County Quality (1200m), Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) and Group 3 Cameron Handicap (1350m) upon resuming in spring; placing fifth in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) in his only other start prior to the Cantala Stakes.
Le Romain is currently available at early 2017 Doncaster Mile odds of $11 with Ladbrokes Australia.