Le Romain is on track to give trainer Kris Lees back-to-back Group One Kingsford Smith Cup victories after finally drawing favourably for the Doomben feature.
Despite drawing wide barriers in his four most recent starts at the elite level, Le Romain has been placed in the All Aged Stakes and Doomben 10,000.
He gets his chance after drawing five in the original field of 11 and comes in one gate with the scratching of Spieth.
“He’s had some shockers so this gives him a chance to get a softer run and put himself into the race. He’ll be in the first three or four,” Lees said.
“His last two runs have been as good as he’s ever raced.
“This is a tougher race than last year but he’s in good order and he’ll run well.”
Jockey Glyn Schofield is also buoyed by the barrier draw after his third to English and Impending in the Doomben 10,000 from the second widest gate.
“His run the other day was super. Wide gate, strong speed, he had to cover a bit of ground, roll forward and he was still there right at the death. He’s in great shape,” Schofield said.
Le Romain ($3.50) is an early favourite to turn the tables on Godolphin’s Impending ($4.60) and English ($5).
The early tempo of the race will determine how Care To Think will be ridden.
Care To Think was an eye-catching sixth in the Doomben 10,000 when he came from second last after drawing a wide barrier.
The gelding’s run of bad barriers continued when he drew the widest marble.
At his past six starts Care To Think has drawn a single digit barrier just once.
An exasperated trainer Matt Dunn said it was no use whingeing about the bad barriers.
“I will tell James (jockey McDonald) to let the tempo dictate what to do. He is a very experienced jockey,” Dunn said.
“Care To Think doesn’t have to go back. If there is no pace inside him he can roll forward and get a good position.”
Dunn said Care To Think had done well since the Doomben 10,000.
Comeback jockey McDonald will replace Jeff Lloyd who has picked up the ride on the likely race leader Monsieur Gustave.
Most Important has drawn an ideal barrier, giving the underrated gelding a chance to correct a poor record of Queensland-trained horses in winter carnival Group One sprint races.
Of the 30 Group One sprints run in Brisbane in the past 10 years, Queensland trained horses have won three – River Lad (2014 Stradbroke), Spirit Of Boom (2014 Doomben 10,000) and Albert The Fat (2010 BTC Cup).
In the previous 10 years and 30 runnings of those races, Queensland-trained horses won nine.