The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
While unable to figure when ninth in the major Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) on day 2 of The Championships at Royal Randwick last time out, trainer Tony McEvoy is confident a rise in distance and drop back in class in this weekend’s Listed Port Adelaide Cup (2500m) is precisely what is needed for Le Roi to return to the winner’s circle.
Jumping as a rank outsider in the $4 million event on April 19th, Le Roi was noticeably unable to handle the late pace of eventual champion It’s A Dundeel and was unlucky to be checked early in the final straight.
While charged with carrying a race-high 60kgs at Morphettville this weekend, McEvoy confirmed the Areion entire has pulled up well and has completed several positive pieces of work in the lead-up to the Port Adelaide Cup.
“He was always chasing, he tried hard, but they were just too sharp” McEvoy told TVN.
“He’s come through the race well, he’s thrived since I sent him back to Adelaide and he’s trained on well.
“I think this is the best I’ve had him placed this preparation and he’s out to a distance that he is good at.
“I’m really looking forward to running him on Saturday.”
A standout performer in securing four wins from only five stats throughout the 2012/13 summer, Le Roi has returned to the track in typically competitive form this season, finishing third in the Listed CS Hayes Memorial Cup (1600m) and strolling home to win the Silver Thomas Hanley Handicap Open (1600m) prior to the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Allocated the slightly wide barrier 11, Le Roi has opened as and maintained favouritism in betting markets for success in the 2014 Port Adelaide Cup, currently offered at a quote of $3.50.
Unlucky to finish fourth in the Listed Warrnambool Cup (2350m) last week, Shiny Buttons is currently sole occupant of the second line of Port Adelaide Cup betting at $4.80 odds, ahead of Escado ($5), Mujadale ($6.50) and Dylanson ($7.50).
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