James McDonald will be back on Le Romain at Royal Randwick on Saturday for the triple Group 1 winner’s first “date” with Winx in 18 months.
Kris Lees has confirmed McDonald’s booking for the classy sprinter as he opted for the $500,000 Group 1 Colgate Optic White Stakes (1600m) rather than a home track assignment in Friday’s Group 3 Cameron Handicap (1500m) at Newcastle.
Le Romain [pictured left] was given 63kg topweight in the Cameron, and Lees also nominated the gelding for Saturday’s Group 3 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m) at Randwick, where he would have been asked to carry 61kg topweight.
The Optic White is run at weight-for-age, and six-year-old Le Romain will carry 59kg; 2kg more than champion seven-year-old mare Winx.
The pair last met in March last year in another Group 1 wfa feature – the George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens – when Le Romain finished a gallant second to Winx (Chautauqua was third) on a heavy surface.
Le Romain was allotted 58kg in the $1m Group 1 TAB Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick in a fortnight; a weight Lees said was “pretty much what I expected”.
“I wouldn’t run him in the Cameron with 63kg, and even though we might be running for second behind Winx, the Optic White looks the logical race for him,” Lees said.
“This is the first time he has run at 1600m in 12 months when he finished down the course behind Humidor in the Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington."