Returning Randwick Guineas winner Le Romain has opened narrow favourite in a tight Show County Quality 2016 betting market for Randwick Racecourse this weekend.
Back in early March the Kris Lees-trained Hard Spun gelding enjoyed a win over Press Statement in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) scoring the upset as a $17 shot.
The step up in distance saw him fail to secure back-to-back Group 1s as a three-year-old in the autumn however with Le Romain last seen running seventh to Tarzino in the Rosehill Guineas (2000m).
He kicks off his four-year-old campaign on Saturday returning to Randwick where he has had three starts for two wins and a second to date, Le Romain one of nine runners making up the field for the $125,000 Group 3 Bob Ingham Show County Quality (1200m).
Drawn the rails with barrier one, Christian Reith continues his association with the galloper after riding him for his four most recent starts last time in.
Currently Le Romain pays $4.50 in Show County Quality odds at Ladbrokes.com.au – the inside alley, his previous winning form first-up and two nice trials in the lead-up all positive signs according to the bookmakers.
Four of his rivals are also under $10 in Show County Quality betting for the win including the close second elect Vashka ($4.80) who James McDonald rides first-up from barrier five.
The John O’Shea-trained Exceed And Excel six-year-old enjoyed back-to-back wins last spring, but hasn’t raced since taking out the Group 3 Moonga Stakes (1400m) on Caulfield Cup Day in October 2015.
In that run he defeated Under The Louvre who subsequently won the Stradbroke Handicap over the winter in Brisbane and Vashka has a strong first-up record (5-1-2-1) as well as plenty of form over Saturday’s 1200m distance (5-2-1-1).
The next best fancied in the markets at $5 is Tycoon Tara, Peter & Paul Snowden’s mare coming off the wet-track Randwick win in the weight-for-age Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) two weeks ago.
Jockey Kerrin McEvoy replaces Blake Shinn in the saddle of the six-year-old daughter of Written Tycoon who drops from her 56.5kg winning Missile weight to the 54kg minimum this weekend.
Rounding out the single-figure hopes in a tight market are the Allan Denham-trained Missile Stakes third placegetter Mount Nebo ($6) and last year’s Show County runner-up Boss Lane ($6.50).
Boss Lane hasn’t raced since his failed 12th as a $101 roughie behind super sprinter Chautauqua in the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) on April 2, but enjoyed a nice Randwick trial win earlier this month that Vashka placed third in over 850m.
The four other runners area all under $20 making this year’s Show County Quality one of the most open in recent seasons with the likes of the O’Shea-trained Generalife ($12) and the reigning champion Decision Time ($15) also pressing genuine claims.
Check out the full Show County Quality 2016 betting odds below before heading to Ladbrokes.com.au to lock in your selections at the right price!