A late autumn cameo in Sydney is likely for comeback stayer Le Roi but trainer Tony McEvoy is more focused on a major Melbourne spring target.
The five-year-old import runs over 1600m at Moonee Valley on Saturday in his second start since spending 11 months off the scene recovering from a bowed tendon.
The 2012 Summer Cup winner resumed on Adelaide Cup day earlier this month, finishing third as favourite after he was hampered by a fallen runner.
McEvoy wanted to keep Le Roi at 1600m on Saturday after so long off before stepping him up in trip, most likely in Sydney next start.
“Depending on his form I’ll decide what he runs in (in Sydney), but there’s plenty of 2000 and 2400-metre races,” the trainer said.
“I don’t want to give him too much in the autumn, then he’ll go back to the paddock and be set for the spring.
“The Melbourne Cup is the race he’ll be set for.”
Le Roi is nominated for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes but a start in Sydney’s richest race is unlikely.
“They (nominations) closed a long time ago so I put him in in case,” McEvoy said.
“He would need to win very impressively to consider that.
“He’s a high-class stayer, but that might come too soon.”
McEvoy has been able to secure multiple Melbourne premiership winner Luke Nolen to ride Le Roi in the Silver Thomas Hanley Handicap (1600m).
Nolen and McEvoy combined to win the Listed Werribee Cup with Pelicano in December.
McEvoy concedes the distance is short of Le Roi’s best but expects him to be powering home if he gets the right tempo.
“I’d be looking for him to be running on strongly. I’m not saying he can’t win, but if something was to beat him it would be because of a lack of distance,” McEvoy said.
Saint Or Sinner, the fourth emergency, has opened $3.40 favourite ahead of Le Roi at $4.20 with last year’s Warrnambool Cup winner Banca Mo and recent Kilmore Cup winner Sweet As Bro at $6.