There’s an old saying that weight will stop a train and the Greta West Stud product Le Romain (Hard Spun) did, briefly, look like he might run out of steam in Saturday’s Group 3 Show Quality over 1200m at Royal Randwick.
And who could have blamed him: the triple Group 1 winner was lugging 61 kilos, while the slightly more fancied, Siege of Quebec, was eight kilos shy. However, after hitting the lead 200 metres from home, Le Romain wasn’t prepared to give his rival an inch, eventually running out a length and a half winner.
Surprisingly, it was the first return to the winners’ enclosure for Le Romain since capturing the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (beating Chautauqua in a thriller) back in March 2017, but the now 6YO has hardly been disappointing. Indeed, the 10 starts between drinks having included five seconds (four of those at Group 1 level), a third in the Doomben 10,000 and a fourth behind Trapeze Artist in the TJ Smith, again at Group 1.
Complicating matters, Le Romain had a serious colic attack last year and had to be operated on for a twisted bowel: quite often a death sentence for our four-legged chums.
“It was lucky they picked it up so early and operated on him straight away,” explains Mark Carusi who, with brother Anthony, bred and part-owns Le Romain.
“Le Romain has had his share of bad luck along the way…he drew really badly in the Doomben 10,000 and finished less than half a length from the winner (English), and was then beaten a lip in the (Group 1) Kingsford Smith Cup.”
Le Romain has currently won seven of 27 starts with 13 placings for $2,792,075 in stakes, with his other Group 1 successes being the Randwick Guineas and Cantala Stakes.
Following Saturday’s Show County win, there is considerable talk about Le Romain being offered a slot in October’s $13 million The Everest.
“It would be terrific if he got a run in the Everest,” Carusi points out, “but we’re not pushing for it. I’d like (trainer) Kris (Lees) to run him in the ($1 million Group One) Epsom Handicap (over 1600m at Randwick on 29 September)
Concreters by trade and based at Camden in NSW, the Carusis keep their mares at Laurie McCarthy’s Greta West Stud in north east Victoria which is where Le Romain’s dam, Mignard, normally resides.
Purchased by the Carusis for $18,000 at the 2009 Inglis Spring Thoroughbred Sale, Mignard – a winning Strategic mare from the family of Champion 2YO Black Shoes – was sent to former Darley Northwood stallion, Hard Spun (63 stakes winners) in the spring of 2011. The resultant foal … Le Romain.
“I loved Hard Spun … he was a terrific stallion and wish he was still standing in Australia,” Carusi adds.
“Le Romain’s half sister, Isabeau, only had the one start for us, while the 3YO out of the mare, Mikuro (by Kuroshio) was passed in for $140,000 on the Gold Coast last year and has since placed in two of her three runs. The full sister to Mikuro – Mbappe – is now a 2YO and will be raced by us too and the same goes for the Exosphere filly foaled last year.
“Mignard is in foal to Frosted and will be heading off to Astern this spring.”