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Trainer Tony McEvoy has revealed Le Roi jarred up on the firm Flemington ground on Saturday after winning the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m), which means he will no longer back-up for the Group 2 Zipping Classic (2400m) at Sandown this Saturday.
The former German horse will now head to the paddock, with a tilt in next year’s Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) on the cards.
“That ground was too firm yesterday, I couldn’t do it to him,” McEvoy told TVN.
Stablemate Big Memory will join Le Roi in the spelling paddock after “doing his job” this spring with a win in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) and placings in the Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
McEvoy is hopeful that both horses can return as 2015 Melbourne Cup contenders after consistent spring carnivals.
Le Roi didn’t have the right preparation for this year’s ‘race that stops the nation’ after wet weather in South Australia and Sydney but the trainer is confident the German import can be a top contender for next year’s race.
“We were probably three or four weeks behind with him all the way through and that’s why we didn’t target the Melbourne Cup this year. But it’s on his agenda next year,” McEvoy said.
Le Roi spent just under one year away from the racing scene after suffering a blowed tendon in the 2013 Group 1 BMW (2400m). He returned in the Listed C S Stakes (1600m) in March, finishing third.
Before winning the 2014 Elizabeth Stakes on Saturday, the five-year-old entire was runner-up in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Cup (2500m) and third in the Listed Cranbourne Cup (2025m).
Big Memory on the other hand missed a Melbourne Cup berth this year by just one place with McEvoy confirming the Herbert Power Stakes winner will be aimed at next year’s race.
“If you look at the improvement he’s made from last preparation to this preparation, he’s a young horse and he’s in for a big season next year,” the trainer said.
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