Kris Lees: Le Romain’s Kennedy Mile Prep “Unorthodox”

October 31, 2018

Kris Lees: Le Romain’s Kennedy Mile Prep “Unorthodox”

Le Romain gears up for his fourth start of the Spring this weekend in the $1 million Kennedy Mile at Flemington, a race the three-time Group 1 winner won back in 2016.

Wednesday’s barrier draw saw the six-year old draw gate seven in the jam-packed 16 horse field, and after a rather up and down prep so far, trainer Kris Lees thinks the step back to the mile should suit nicely.

Le Romain has drawn barrier seven ahead of this weekend’s Kennedy Mile at Flemington.

“He won it two years ago, it’s probably an unorthodox preparation, he went to a mile and then dropped back for The Everest” Lees told Racing.com. 

“But he’s quite a versatile horse, he’s had a bit of racing now, I think he’ll be comfortable coming back to the mile.”

Le Romain, who has enjoyed plenty of strong wins on the wet ground throughout his career, struggled on the heavy track during The Everest at Randwick. It was always tough ask from barrier 11, but a luckless run down the straight saw Lees’ hopeful finish fourth.

“Yeah he bounced out of it really well,” Lees said when quizzed on Le Romain’s recovery.

“It wasn’t a high pressure race, although it was on pretty testing ground, which he’s comfortable on, so he’s come through it well.”

Ahead of Saturday’s meeting at Flemington, Le Romain has opened on the third line of betting with Ladbrokes at $9.50. A win for Lees would place him right alongside Lee Freedman (1987, 1991) and Chris Waller (2011, 2013) on the list of current trainers with double wins in the Cantala/Kennedy Stakes.

As for jockey James McDonald, who rides Le Romain for the second time this Spring after finishing runner-up behind Winx in the George Main Stakes, he’ll be searching for his first career win in the Mile.

Darren Weir’s Land of Plenty has stepped into favourtism after drawing barrier eight, while Hartnell and Peaceful State also remain at steady odds.

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