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Le Romain eyes Doncaster redemption

An impressive track gallop at Broadmeadow means Le Romain will not be put out to pasture for a spell just yet.

Newcastle trainer Kris Lees saw exactly what he wanted from the three-time Group One winner on early Tuesday and confirmed the beaten Doncaster Mile favourite would attempt to make amends in Saturday’s weight-for-age All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick.

“He worked well. He’s on track. We’re happy with him. There wasn’t really much doubt,” Lees said.

Lees hoped had hoped Le Romain would produce his first Doncaster Mile win on the opening day of The Championships on April 1, but Hugh Bowman was jammed behind Ecuador at the 600-metre mark.

Le Romain ran 15th, crossing the line 11 lengths behind the winner It’s Somewhat.

“He was held up and couldn’t get a crack at them. That can happen with big fields in big races,” Lees said.

Le Romain opened this campaign by winning the Group Three $150,000 Southern Cross Stakes (1200m) in mid-February, the precursor to Group One success in the Canterbury Stakes (1300m) on March 4.

He then trailed Winx home in the George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill before stepping up to 1600m in the iconic Doncaster.

After that disappointment Le Romain was freshened up on Lees’ farm for four days to prepare for the All Aged, one of two Group One races on Saturday’s card.

He is at $4.50 behind defending titleholder English who is at $4.

“He’s versatile. He’s won two Group Ones over the mile but 1400 metres could be his best trip because of his high cruising speed,” Lees said.

Bowman has been booked for the ride and will be hoping to replicate his success aboard Le Romain in last spring’s Group One Cantala Stakes (1600m) at Flemington

Le Romain’s new stablemate Clearly Innocent will only contest the Group Three Hall Mark Stakes (1200m) on Saturday if the track is not hammered by heavy rain.

“I won’t run him if we get any real rain,” Lees said.

Randwick was classified a heavy 8 on Tuesday with rain forecast on Wednesday – the only showers predicted this week.

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