Jun 29, 2017
NEWCASTLE: Thursday, June 29, 2017: TRIPLE Group 1 winner Le Romain is likely to barrier trial at Wyong on Wednesday as he nears the beginning of a new campaign.
Kris Lees has earmarked the first black type race of the season – the $200,000 Group 2 wfa Missile Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on August 5 – for the gelding’s resumption.
And connections are hoping that, in view of his outstanding Randwick record, Le Romain will clinch a spot in the line-up for the inaugural $10m The Everest (1200m) on October 14.
“At this stage, he will more than likely trial at Wyong on Wednesday,” Lees said this afternoon.
“I’ll probably trial him twice before he resumes in the Missile.”
Le Romain has won six of his 18 career starts (and also been placed on nine occasions) for earnings of nearly $2.2m.
He hasn’t raced since finishing second to Tivaci in the Group 1 wfa All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on April 15.
Two of Le Romain’s three Group 1 victories have been at Randwick (last year’s 1600m Randwick Guineas and the 1300m Canterbury Stakes earlier this year). He has raced 10 times there for four wins (from 1000m to 1600m) and as many seconds.
“Freshened up for the 1200m, I’ve got no doubt he would be very competitive in The Everest,” Lees said.
“He excels at Randwick, and handles both good and wet ground.”
Lees is keen to also secure a spot in The Everest for his recent Brisbane Group 1 winner Clearly Innocent in The Everest.
Stablemate Danish Twist, luckless in last Saturday’s Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1350m) at Doomben, has remained in Queensland to spell there.
“Spending a few weeks in the sun will do her good,” Lees said. “She got shuffled back in the run last week, and then nearly fell in the straight.”
New Zealander Sound Proposition, who made an impressive debut for the stable at Randwick last Saturday, is scheduled to have his next start at the same track on July 22 in a Benchmark 93 Handicap (1800m).
Meanwhile, Lees has decided to remove blinkers from Reach For Heaven (Andrew Gibbons), who resumes at Newcastle on Saturday in the Benchmark 65 Handicap (1200m).
The lightly-raced Savabeel three-year-old, a Saturday placegetter in town, hasn’t raced since finishing fourth (with 60kg) to Another Aan in a similar race at Newcastle on Newmarket day (March 17).
He has trialled twice – including a second to Danish Twist over 800m on his home track on May 10 – in preparation for his return.
“Reach For Heaven has trialled well; I’m really happy with him,” Lees said.
Lees also has debutant Play Now (Gibbons) and second emergency Grasslands in the 2YO Maiden Plate (900m).
“Play Now is likely to need a bit of experience, whilst Grasslands would be a chance if she gets a run,” Lees said.
With the rail out 10m on Saturday, only 10 youngsters can start.
Play Now is a younger half-sister to Lees’ 2016 Inglis Classic winner Twist Tops, and Grasslands was previously with Michael Freedman, who has relocated to Hong Kong.
The Snitzel filly, who raced three times in Sydney earlier in the season, has won both trials (at Gosford on June 6 and 21) since joining Lees’ stable.