The winning combination of James McDonald and Le Romain is back together to take on super mare Winx in the Group 1 $500,000 Colgate Optic White (George Main) Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday.
McDonald was aboard the Kris Lees trained Le Romain for his first up win in the Group 3 $150,000 Nexon Show County Quality (1200m) at Randwick on August 18.
Hugh Bowman was called on to take over the reins in the Group 2 $200,000 Tramway Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on September 1 after McDonald elected to stay with Pierata who he steered to victory in the Group 2 $200,000 Mostyn Copper Group Missile Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on August 4.
Unfortunately Pierata had to be scratched from the Tramway Stakes when he was found to be lame while Le Romain finished seventh, one and a half lengths behind the winner Comin’ Through.
Le Romain will be stepping up to the 1600m for the first time this preparation and Lees knows that the six year old will have a tough time chasing Winx who is on target to record her twenty-seventh win on the trot with a third successive victory in the George Main Stakes.
“I wouldn’t run him in the Cameron with 63kg, and even though we might be racing for second behind Winx, the Optic White looks the logical race for him,” Lees told AAP.
“This is the first time he has run at 1600 metres in 12 months when he finished down the course behind Humidor in the Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington last September.
“As we subsequently found out when we brought him back home, he wasn’t right and had to undergo colic surgery.”
Le Romain has raced in elite company since his three year old days, having saluted at Group 1 level on three occasions with wins in the 2016 Group 1 $1m Girvan Waugh Randwick Guineas (1600m) at Randwick, in the 2016 Group 1 $1m Cantala Stakes (1600m) at Flemington and in the 2017 Group 1 $500,000 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Randwick.