With the as expected non-acceptance of Black Heart Bart from Saturday’s 2017 All Aged Stakes field the new top fancy for the Royal Randwick feature is the Kris Lees-trained Le Romain.
Darren Weir’s champion galloper Black Heart Bart bypasses the $600,000 Group 1 Schweppes All Aged Stakes (1400m) with Sydney racing set to happen on another rain-affected track on the weekend.
The Goodwood-bound Black Heart Bart instead heads straight to Adelaide next month, while Le Romain will take top spot in the All Aged Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au for this weekend’s autumn Group 1.
Dissident in 2015 was the first four-year-old All Aged Stakes winner since the mare Shamekha (2005), but the bookies are taking no chances with four-year-old stallion Le Romain this season.
The multiple Group 1 winner’s last turf triumph was in the Canterbury Stakes over 1300m at Randwick on a wet track in early March.
A second to Winx in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) followed before the son of Hard Spun failed to fire running 15th to It’s Somewhat in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) a fortnight back.
He faces an easier task at weight-for-age back to 1400m on the weekend, his three previous runs over the distance producing a trio of second place efforts that he’ll be out to go one better than in the All Aged Stakes results.
The last All Aged Stakes winner to come out of the Doncaster Mile was the Japanese-trained mare Hana’s Goal (6th in 2014), while the last favourite to salute in the race was All Too Hard (2013) the previous year for Team Hawkes.
The reigning All Aged Stakes winner English has been accepted to defend her title, out to go back-to-back in the race for the first time since Rough Habit (1992-93).
Top mare Sunline subsequently won dual editions of the All Aged Stakes, but on non-successive years saluting in 2000 and 2002.
Prepared by Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott, English won the event last autumn as a three-year-old filly coming off a third in the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m).
She had her final lead-up in the same Randwick sprint this year, finishing second to the now triple champ Chautauqua.
English must still clear a Thursday vet check before being confirmed for the All Aged Stakes field however after suffering a minor leg laceration.
The sole last-start winner in the mix meanwhile is Mick Bell’s known mudlark Jungle Edge.
The son of Dubawi was a relative unknown until this Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
Two back he ran a shock third after an on-pace run up front in the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill as a 50/1 roughie on a mud track.
He then saluted over 1200m at Rosehill in the Group 3 Star Kingdom Stakes at much shorter odds on March 25.
Saturday will be his first look at 1400m since finishing last (13th) to Bon Aurum in the Group 1 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Caulfield in September last year.
Other notable All Aged Stakes acceptors this year include the Newmarket Handicap winner Redkirk Warrior in barrier three for jockey Craig Williams and Weir’s remaining hopeful Voodoo Lad with the rails run from barrier one.
See below for the full All Aged Stakes 2017 field, barriers and jockeys with updated markets to open shortly at Ladbrokes.com.au.
2017 All Aged Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Randwick Race 7 (3:45pm) – 15/04/2017
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||22251×1120||LE ROMAIN||Kris Lees||Hugh Bowman||10||59kg||116|
|2||20x5x21x10||REDKIRK WARRIOR (GB)||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Craig Williams||3||59kg||109|
|3||3x6039x650||JAPONISME||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||5||59kg||107|
|4||2311210×25||VOODOO LAD||Darren Weir||Damian Lane||1||59kg||107|
|5||251162×156||MCCREERY (GB)||Chris Waller||Kerrin McEvoy||6||59kg||106|
|6||7x8390190x||FAMOUS SEAMUS (NZ)||Noel Mayfield-Smith||Jay Ford||9||59kg||103|
|7||134028×531||JUNGLE EDGE||Mick Bell||Kevin Forrester||4||59kg||102|
|8||x26330x154||TIVACI||Michael Moroney||Damien Oliver||7||59kg||102|
|9||1x5470x172||ENGLISH||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Blake Shinn||2||57kg||114|
|10||13x1421x97||DIVINE PROPHET||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tommy Berry||8||56.5kg||104|