Sep 12, 2017
NEWCASTLE: Tuesday, September 12, 2017: A sharp workout at Caulfield this morning has convinced Kris Lees his triple Group 1 winner Le Romain will relish his return to Flemington on Saturday.
Le Romain goes back to the scene of his Melbourne Group 1 triumph last spring (Cantala Stakes) when he runs in the $750,000 Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes over the same 1600m course.
With stable foreman Mal Ollerton aboard, the five-year-old worked with Canberra mare Single Gaze on the steeple grass.
“Mal was really pleased with Le Romain’s work,” Lees said this morning.
“The horse is in good order, and is definitely ready to step up to the 1600mat the weekend.”
Lees also nominated Le Romain for Saturday’s $500,000 Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick, but this was merely a precautionary measure.
The gelding is remaining in Melbourne and Ben Melham, who rode him when a solid fifth to Vega Magic in the $1m Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on September 2, again has the Makybe Diva mount.
Le Romain has been an outstanding performer for the stable. He has won six of his 20 starts and been placed in another 10 and earned prizemoney of $2.254m.
He is currently Lees’ only representative in Melbourne, as Japanese import Hallelujah Boy has returned to Newcastle for a short break.
Hallelujah Boy raced below expectations at his Australian debut at Caulfield on September 2, and pulled up a little short in his action.
Doomben Cup winner Sense Of Occasion won’t race again until the end of the month.
Lees nominated Sense Of Occasion for Friday’s $150,000 Group 3 Cameron Handicap (1500m) at Broadmeadow, but won’t accept with him tomorrow.
“He’ll run next at Randwick on September 30 in either the Epsom Handicap or Hill Stakes,” Lees said.
The Group 1 Epsom (1600m) carries a $1m purse, whilst the slightly longer 1800m Hill Stakes is a Group 2 event run under weight-for-age conditions and is worth $500,000.
Lees has kept Sense Of Occasion fresh since he resumed when eighth to Winx in the Group 2 wfa Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on September 2.