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Rejuvenated Le Baol back to Flemington

11 July 2023 Written by Brad Bishop – Racing & Sports

25-length maiden hurdle winner gets crack at Flemington staying feature.

Le Baol put forward his nomination for most impressive winner of the season over the jumps at Warrnambool earlier this month, but the imported gelding returns to flat racing this weekend.

The son of Orpen will run in this Saturday's $175,000 Deane Lester Flemington Cup (2800m) at Flemington.

The seven-year-old made the perfect start to his jumping career, winning a 3200-metre maiden hurdle by 25 lengths despite being eased down over the final 100m.

While it was the fourth win of a 19-start career, two of those came in Europe with the other at his Australian debut when trained by Lindsey Smith.

Le Baol is now in the care of Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, who have prepared him to run fifth in a Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) and fourth in this year's Listed Warrnambool Cup (2350m) and Eustace hopes the jumping experience has given him a new lease on life.

"Time and again you see it rejuvenate those flat horses," Eustace said.

"Not that he'd been running badly on the flat, but he's obviously going to be very effective over hurdles and he'll go back to hurdles as well.

"We'd like a drop of the rain, but it doesn't necessarily look like we're going to get one."

Le Baol is among entries for the Deane Lester Flemington Cup from Australia's leading stable, accompanied by Cadre Du Noir, Strawberry Rock, Union Gap and Wahine Toa, but the only guaranteed starter early in the week.

Mimi's Award, Rolls and The Good Fight, who filled the trifecta in the Banjo Paterson Series Final at Flemington on July 1, are among Le Baol's potential rivals along with recent Flemington winner Port Guillaume and Chris Waller's Group 2 Brisbane Cup winner from last year, Irish Sequel.

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