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Le Romain won his third Group 1 race in a fighting finish against the champion Chautauqua taking out the Canterbury Stakes 2017 in a photo on Randwick Guineas Day in the wet.
Twelve months ago the smart Kris Lees-trained son of Hard Spun won the Randwick Guineas in a bit of an upset and he was there beating a better fancied horse again in this year’s $500,000 Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m).
“He’s just a really good horse, a pleasure to change and he is one of those uncomplicated geldings,” winning trainer Lees said after the race.
The money was on the Team Hawkes-trained super sprinter Chautauqua up in distance second-up in a bit of a search to see how the great grey would go over further.
Already proven up to a mile, the now four-year-old Le Romain also relished the Heavy Randwick track conditions in his second run into the autumn.
First-up he won the Group 3 Southern Cross Stakes (1200m) narrowly under a big weight and he enjoyed another fight to the line in the Canterbury Stakes.
Leading the field around for the race’s seven-time winning trainer Gai Waterhouse was the three-year-old New Zealand import Ugo Foscolo in his maiden run down under.
Le Romain and hoop Glyn Schofield were also quick from the barriers, moving up into second, while jockey Tommy Berry gave Chautauqua a very quiet ride right at the back of the pack in the weight-for-age feature.
Approaching the turn for home, Chautauqua moved up on the inside along the rails tackling Music Magnate who had gotten to the front briefly, as Le Romain also started to surge.
Getting beside the favourite, Le Romain and Schofield turned it into a two-horse race with ‘The Grey Flash’ for a brilliant finish.
A photo showed that Le Romain up on the outside got the win in a lunge, while the fast-finishing Hauraki first-up for John O’Shea rounded out the Canterbury Stakes trifecta in third.
“It was an exciting finish,” Lees said.
“And to beat a champion on the line, very satisfying.”
Le Romain will now take on the great mare Winx at Rosehill on Golden Slipper Day in a fortnight for a tough run in the $1 million Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) before rounding out his autumn on April 1 back at Randwick in the $3 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m).
“He’s tough and he can run up to a mile,” Lees added.
“Now he’s competed at weight-for-age too.
“I’ve always said he’s been a little underrated, but not to us.
“He’ll take on Winx in a couple of weeks, but the Doncaster’s been his aim since he come in.”
Chautauqua is also likely to head towards the 2017 Doncaster Mile on Day 1 of ‘The Championships’ having been a late entry for the classic.
Now is the ideal time to back your Group 1 autumn racing selections online at Ladbrokes.com.au – the home of Odds Boost (T&Cs apply).
2017 Canterbury Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Randwick Race 5 – 04/03/2017
|1||2||LE ROMAIN||Kris Lees||Glyn Schofield||–||6||59kg||$4.60|
|2||1||CHAUTAUQUA||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tommy Berry||0.1L||4||59kg||$3.70F|
|3||3||HAURAKI||John O’Shea||Blake Shinn||3.1L||8||59kg||$12|
|4||8||IMPENDING||John O’Shea||Zac Purton||4.8L||7||56kg||$16|
|5||4||MUSIC MAGNATE (NZ)||Bjorn Baker||Kerrin McEvoy||6.1L||1||59kg||$6|
|6||5||JAPONISME||Chris Waller||Joao Moreira||8.6L||5||59kg||$17|
|7||6||TOO GOOD TO REFUSE||Desleigh Forster||Tye Angland||8.7L||2||59kg||$31|
|8||7||UGO FOSCOLO (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Joshua Parr||24.1L||3||56kg||$3.90|
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