The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
The Doncaster Mile 2017 in April will be considered for the Kris Lees-trained Le Romain who kicked of his autumn with a gutsy first-up Randwick win in the Southern Cross Stakes.
Last start winner of Flemington’s Group 1 Cantala Stakes (1600m) on Derby Day, the Hard Spun four-year-old dug deep and came away with a narrow victory on Apollo Stakes Day in the $150,000 Group 3 Southern Cross Stakes (1200m).
Giving all the weight away with 61kg in the form of Hugh Bowman on his back, Le Romain ($4.20) had too much power and class in the end and narrowly held off a brave Big Money ($10) for the win.
Last autumn the gelding won the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) and another elite level over that track and distance could be calling Le Romain this season.
Bowman had Le Romain posted second on the outside of the favourite and pace-setter Dothraki from the stables of Peter & Paul Snowden, while the returning John O’Shea-trained three-year-old Impending got the cheap run third behind them.
In fourth was the always-honest Rodney Northam-trained Big Money who was out to improve on a close last start fourth behind Music Magnate at Rosehill in January’s Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m).
With 600m left to travel Big Money was coming wide and once on the straight looked one of the main chances.
Impending meanwhile was caught-up badly and couldn’t get out of the pocket, shoved out of contention well before the final furlong.
Over the closing stages Le Romain hit the lead with Big Money surging behind him, the top weight just holding for the tight photo finish.
Rounding out the Southern Cross Stakes trifecta in third was another Snowden-trained hopeful, Snippets Land ($26), who also ran third the start before at the Gold Coast in the Magic Millions Cup (1400m).
The options over the coming months for Le Romain include a clash with Winx on Golden Slipper Stakes Day, March 18, in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at weight-for-age.
That would serve as a gun lead-up into the lucrative $3 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) back at Royal Randwick on April 1 during The Championships.
There is a chance Lees will give Le Romain an earlier Group 1 run on March 4 in the Canterbury Stakes (1300m), a race Pierro (2013) won on way to his George Ryder Stakes success four years ago.
To back Le Romain next start at the hottest autumn racing odds, visit Ladbrokes.com.au now – home of Odds Boost (T&Cs apply).
2017 Southern Cross Stakes Results
Randwick Race 5 – 13/02/2017
|1||1||LE ROMAIN||Kris Lees||Hugh Bowman||–||6||61kg||$4.20|
|2||3||BIG MONEY||Rodney Northam||Robert Thompson||0.1L||5||57kg||$11|
|3||4||SNIPPETS LAND||Peter & Paul Snowden||Christian Reith||0.9L||7||56.5kg||$21|
|4||2||DOTHRAKI||Peter & Paul Snowden||Tye Angland||1.1L||3||58kg||$3.50EF|
|5||7||HIS MAJESTY (IRE)||Kim Waugh||Tim Clark||1.6L||2||53kg||$12|
|6||5||IMPENDING||John O’Shea||Brenton Avdulla||3.4L||1||53.5kg||$3.50EF|
|7||6||SUPREME EFFORT||Kim Waugh||Jason Collett||4L||4||53kg (cd 53.5kg)||$9|
|8||8||WOULDNT IT BE NICE||Paul Perry||Jay Ford||6.3L||9||53kg||$51|
|9||9||AOMEN (IRE)||Jeremy Sylvester||Ms Kathy O’Hara||11.7L||8||53kg||$91|
|–||10||DEFCON||Peter & Paul Snowden||Corey Brown||–||0||–||–|
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