Le Ro­main to stake his Ever­est claim

The Sportsman Weekend - - News - MATT JONES

HE’S the for­got­ten horse of The Ever­est de­bate but if Le Ro­main re­turns with a bang in the $150,000 Group 3 Show County Qual­ity (1200m) at Royal Rand­wick to­mor­row he might put the re­main­ing slot own­ers on no­tice.

The three-time Group 1 win­ner has al­ways raced im­pres­sively at the top level but never fully gets recog­ni­tion he de­serves.

He nearly beat Ever­est favourite Trapeze Artist in the Group 1 All-Aged Stakes (1400m) in the au­tumn and was des­per­ately un­lucky not to win an­other pair of ma­jors in the win­ter when go­ing down English (Doomben 10,000) and Im­pend­ing (Kings­ford-Smith Cup).

Trainer Kris Lees has been try­ing to get him into the race for some time.

“He is (the for­got­ten horse). He raced against a lot of horses that are al­ready in (The Ever­est) and there wasn’t much be­tween them,” Lees said.

“He’s won three Group 1s and was nar­rowly beaten by Trapeze Artist and English last prepa­ra­tion.”

Le Ro­main’s fresh record is good and de­spite hav­ing to lump 61kg to­mor­row he has a su­perb record at Rand­wick and at the dis­tance.

“He’s a horse that would nor­mally im­prove off a run but he’s only had small let-up this time as op­posed to com­ing off a proper spell,” Lees said.

Lees feels he’ll over­come the weight dis­ad­van­tage and his class will pre­vail de­spite giv­ing way 8kg to most of the field.

“He’s come back in good or­der and has had a cou­ple of nice tri­als.

“He’s got bit resid­ual fitness from the win­ter,” Lees said.

bar­rier one and 61kg which is a good lev­eller but he de­serves ev­ery bit of it and he’ll be hard to beat.

“Weight can beat any horse but he’s ca­pa­ble of car­ry­ing that. I could have ran him in the Winx (Stakes) but I’m happy to give her a wide berth for as long as pos­si­ble.”

Dal Cielo will ei­ther take on Le Ro­main or race in an Open Hand­i­cap (1200m) on the Gold Coast on the same day and Lees is happy with how well he’s do­ing.

“He’s very fit and he could go to Bris­bane. His last two runs have been the best of his prepa­ra­tion and wher­ever he runs, he’ll be hard to beat,” Lees said.

Zest­ful will be look­ing to bounce back for in the Group 3 Toy Show Qual­ity (1300m) af­ter a flop last start.

She’s win­ner of the Listed Ra­zor Sharp Hand­i­cap a few starts back and Lees is hop­ing she can find that form again.

“She’s had a lit­tle freshen-up and a trial. Her best is at Rand­wick so we’re bank­ing on that.

“She’ll prob­a­bly go to stud and I’m hop­ing she can go out on a good note,” Lees said.

“She’s won two Stakes races at Rand­wick so it’s her pre­ferred track.”

Milseain is a Kiwi im­port hav­ing her Aus­tralian de­but in the last race at Rand­wick over 1400m but she won’t be at her peak just yet.

“She’s Group 1 placed but has a wide gate so she’ll be rid­den con­ser­va­tively and will get home well. You won’t see the best of her un­til she gets out in trip,” Lees said.

Trainer Kris Lees is hop­ing Le Ro­main can make enough of an im­pact to­mor­row to land an Ever­est berth.

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