Despite featuring as the final field’s rank outsider, trainer Tony McEvoy is optimistic five-year-old Le Roi can figure in contention in this weekend’s featured Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) on day 2 of the inaugural The Championships.
Having returned to the track in competitive form over two minor starts so far, McEvoy told AAP that while not considered by many as in the same class as his rivals, Le Roi will not let the team down come race 8 at Randwick this weekend.
“It’s a very aggressive placement, but I’ve got a lot of time for this horse” McEvoy said.
“I was confident he was up to The BMW last year and I was disappointed he was beaten three lengths, but he bowed a tendon during the race.
“On paper, my horse reads like he shouldn’t be there. I can only go off what I see from him and I’m sure he won’t let us down.”
Completing a strong piece of work under the guidance of in-form Nash Rawiller at Hawkesbury on Wednesday, McEvoy said the jockey offered a great account and report of the Areion entire’s current form.
“Nash said it was cracking work” McEvoy said.
Amassing an impressive record of six wins and two places from only eleven race starts, Le Roi completed an impressive run of four consecutive victories over the 2012 spring carnival, including the Group 3 Summer Cup (2400m).
Returning to the track for only two appearances in 2013, the five-year-old was unlucky when blocked for a run and third in the Listed Sky High Stakes (1900m) on March 23rd before falling off the pace late and finishing eighth in The BMW.
Finishing third in the Listed CS Hayes Memorial Cup (1600m) first-up in 2014 on March 10th, Le Roi will carry winning form into the 2014 Queen Elizabeth Stakes after strolling home to win the Silver Thomas Hanley Handicap (1600m) on March 29th.
Unlucky when pipped on the line in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) last time out, Her Majesty The Queen-owned Carlton House has opened as and maintained outright favouritism in betting markets for the 2014 Queen Elizabeth Stakes at current $3.50 odds, ahead of Ranvet champions Silent Achiever ($4.60), It’s A Dundeel ($4.80) and Royal Descent ($8).
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