Newcastle trainer Kris Lees does not expect an uncertain preparation to stop Le Romain from challenging in the $5 million All-Star Mile (1600 metres) at Flemington on Saturday.
The three-time group 1 winner was a controversial omission from four wildcard selections after failing to gain a spot from the top 10 public vote. He finally secured a start in the inaugural race on Friday morning when Foundry was scratched.
Before that, Le Romain had drawn one as first emergency after other nominations withdrew.
Lees kept Le Romain in Melbourne after his eighth in the Futurity Stakes at Caulfield on February 23 in the hope of getting an All-Star call up.
Lees last week expressed his disappointment that Le Romain missed a wildcard but he was relieved on Friday.
"He's taken the long road to get there but he's in it now so we'll see how we go," Lees said. "It hasn't interrupted the horse at all. He's in good order and he had a trial last Friday so I'm expecting he'll run well.
"He'll get a nice run. He's a winner at the track and distance, they'll certainly know he's in the race."
Despite the late run, Lees was able to secure in-form Dwayne Dunn, who rode a winning double last week at Flemington, for Le Romain.
The six-year-old gelding, a $15 chance with TAB Fixed Odds, has won nearly $4 million in prizemoney and was second in the group 1 Cantala Stakes at Flemington over the mile last November. He won the race in 2016.
Le Romain was second first-up this time in against Godolphin mare Alizee, which backed up to win the Futurity. She was battling with Happy Clapper, which was second last-start against Winx, for All-Star Mile favouritism.
"Alizee is a high-class mare and Happy Clapper couldn't have done anymore than he did the other day, so he's got to be hard to beat," Lees said. "So it's still a very good race."
At Rosehill, Lees will look to add his name to the Coolmore Classic honour roll, which features his late father, Max, five times.
Lees has El Dorado Dreaming, Invincible Gem and Princess Posh from wide barriers in the 1500m group 1 for fillies and mares. Max won with Satin Sand (1986), Quicksilver Cindy (1991), Flitter (1995), Chlorophyll (1996) and Shindig (1998).
Group 1 winner El Dorado Dreaming ($19) was the shortest-priced chance for Lees, while Princess Posh was $26 after her Newcastle Newmarket win last week. Lees was encouraged by a Soft 7 rating for Rosehill.
"She'll appreciate soft ground," he said of El Dorado Dreaming. "If it gets really heavy, she's untried but she's in good order and I expect her to run well.
"She'll need early pace, but they all will because they will all be going back from wide gates. It's a big field and we're hopeful that we'll get it."
Also at Rosehill, Lees has Red Cardinal in the group 3 Sky High Stakes (2000m). At Gosford, he has Chalmers, Evalina, Kanavu and The Tenor in the Provincial Championships qualifier.
He said Evalina shaped as his best chance after her last-start win.