A horse whose name translates as `the King’ will bid to capture the Queen Elizabeth Stakes after Le Roi confirmed his place in Saturday’s field with a sharp exhibition gallop.
At $101 with most bookmakers, the last-start Moonee Valley winner is the outsider of a star-studded field which boasts It’s A Dundeel, Carlton House, Silent Achiever, Green Moon and Boban.
Trainer Tony McEvoy is the first to admit Le Roi appears to be out of his depth at Randwick on Saturday.
But he is just as adamant the five-year-old can belie his long odds.
“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.”
Le Roi was given his final serious piece of work with a gallop between races at Wednesday’s Kensington track meeting.
While most fast gallops take place on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, McEvoy – who has a base at Hawkesbury – says it’s customary for him to work his team on Wednesdays.
The reason for his race-day visit was the Kensington circuit which was only just into the slow range despite a more rain in Sydney on Tuesday night.
Working with Prince Of Capers, Le Roi did best in the 1600-metre gallop with Nash Rawiller in the saddle.
Craig Williams takes over in the Queen Elizabeth with Rawiller booked for Silent Achiever but the top jockey gave McEvoy a glowing report.
“Nash said it was cracking work,” McEvoy said.
The Queen Elizabeth Stakes has a history littered with upsets, the most famous in 1997 when Intergaze upstaged champion Octagonal.
Seven years later Grand Armee spoiled Lonhro’s racetrack farewell while Reliable Man was a surprise winner 12 months ago, downing It’s A Dundeel who had taken all before him winning the three-year-old triple crown.
McEvoy is banking on Le Roi can spring another shock result on Saturday.
“I’m hoping it stays true to form,” he said.