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Lees Happy With Doncaster Favourite
Kris Lees is quietly confident that Le Romain can provide him with his first winner of Australia's most prestigious mile race on Saturday, the $3 million Gr1 Doncaster Mile at Royal Randwick. The Newcastle horseman has only ever had one runner in the time-honoured race with Slow Pace living up to his name when finishing 13th in 2014. However, in Le Romain, Lees not only has the $6 market elect but also a three-time Gr1 winner seemingly in the best form of his career. The 4YO son of Kentucky Derby runner-up Hard Spun has had three runs this campaign that have yielded wins in the Gr3 Southern Cross Stakes (1200m) and Gr1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m), and a second, albeit a distant one (beaten 7 lengths), behind champion mare Winx in the Gr1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) two weeks ago. "He's in good order, he's such a consistent horse," Lees told AAP. "He's very uncomplicated. He puts himself in the right spot and he gives himself every chance." Lees added: "He's adept on all ground but now he's getting up in weight, you'd probably prefer a little firmer than a complete bog." Le Romain, the highest rated horse in the race, has drawn barrier eight and will be ridden by champion jockey Hugh Bowman. Lees will also be represented by Gr2 Villiers Stakes winner Sense of Occasion ($51) who has drawn barrier ten and will be partnered by Corey Brown.