Local star Le Romain has been given the top weight for the inaugural running of the new race on Racing New South Wales Spring Calendar, the $1m The Hunter (1300m) at Newcastle’s standalone Metropolitan class meeting on Saturday.
The Hunter has attracted twenty-six nominations and the Kris Lees trained Le Romain has been allocated the top weight of 59.5kg ahead of the James Cummings trained Home Of The Brave who was given 58kg.
Lees has a total of five nominations for The Hunter with Invincible Gem (55.5kg), Graff (57kg), Tactical Advantage (56kg) and Miss Fabulass (53kg) joining their stablemate Le Romain in the nomination’s list.
The well performed Graff has been installed as the early favourite for The Hunter at $4 with Ladbrokes.com.au ahead of his multiple Group 1 winning stablemate Le Romain at $8.
“Timing wise it is suiting a couple of horses for various reasons. Le Romain we backed off because I wasn’t happy with his first couple of runs and he returned in good order the other day,” Lees told Racing New South Wales Nesdesk.
“It was similar with Graff, we backed off and reset for this race. It suits well where they are at in their preparations.’’
Le Romain has had three race starts this Spring Carnival for a first up third to Alizee in the Group 2 $200,000 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on August 10 followed by a disappointing tenth in the Group 1 $500,000 Winx Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on August 24.
The seven year old war horse was then back amongst the minor prizemoney with a third to Pierata in the $1m Redzel Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill November 2.
Graff has also been around the minor placings at three runs this campaign with a first up third in the Group 3 $160,000 Concorde Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on September 7 followed by a fourth in the Group 2 $500,000 The Shorts (1100m) at Randwick on September 21 and then finished fourth in the Group 2 $500,000 Premiere Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on October 5.
Early betting for the 2019 The Hunter at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4 Graff, $8 Le Romain, Savatiano, $9 Bon Amis, $10 Home Of The Brave, $12 Brave Song, Invincible Gem, Manicure, $15 Tactical Advantage, $17 Bobbing, Fiesta, Renewal, Teleplay, $21 Sigmore Fox, $26 Live And Free, $31 Siren’s Fury, $34 Mss Fabulass, $51 Belfyer, Goodfella, Redouble, Sandbar, $67 Jonker, $101 Oakfield Twilight, Sir Plush, $201 Paquirri, You Make Me Smile.