Roi D’Jeu is considered to be a 50-50 chance of starting in Saturday’s Listed $200,000 2012 Caloundra Cup (2400m) after a tough Sydney campaign that has taken “the zip” out of the Craig Ritchie-trained stayer.
The six-year-old gelding was last seen running in the 3200-metre Stayers Cup at Rosehill on June 16 where he performed gallantly to finish runner-up to Adroitly in heavy conditions.
It was a courageous effort from the son of Montjeu who was in the leaders’ group for the majority of the race before just getting run down in the waterlogged straight.
Trainer Ritchie was able to give Roi D’Jeu three nights in the paddock following the tough hit-out which he believes has helped the horse to make a strong recovery.
“It wasn’t long before he was bucking and kicking again,” Ritchie said.
“Mentally and physically he has come through the race without a problem.
“I’m not kidding myself and saying the race didn’t take the zip out of him but he has recovered really well.”
Ritchie is hoping the six-year-old can make the trip north as he believes 2400 metres is his ideal distance but will also consider track conditions and the strength of the field before making a final decision.
“I want to see how the track is and what the field is like before I make up my mind,” Ritchie said.
“The track doesn’t have to be too wet, just as long as it isn’t firm.”
A winner of eight of 32 starts, the New Zealand-bred horse horse has won four times on slow or heavy surfaces.
Roi D’Jeu is one of 21 Caloundra Cup nominations, which is headed by Ipswich Cup winner Shenzhou Steeds.
The Michael Moroney-trained four-year-old produced an impressive effort to run down Kinnersley in the straight two weeks ago and is likely to start as favourite in Saturday’s feature event.
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