Despite her nice recent form Chris Hyland’s Cranbourne-based mare Rock Princess is in danger of missing out on a start in Saturday’s 2013 Winter Championship Series Final at Flemington Racecourse.
One of 26 nominations taken for this year’s $150,000 Listed Winter Championship Series Final (1600m), Elvstroem five-year-old Rock Princess currently sits 21st on the order of entry.
With only 16 confirmed starters and four emergencies she’s going to need a number of non-acceptors higher up the ballot to gain a start in the classic.
Rock Princess is so far down the order of entry as she hasn’t come into the race via the Winter Champions Series’ heats.
Hyland then has a couple of back-up options up his sleeve for the half-sister of 2002 Thousand Guineas winner Macedon Lady.
The first is a shot at the Rising Stars Final over an increased 1800m at the same Flemington meeting.
He has also nominated her for a benchmark 90 over the 1800m at Rosehill on Saturday, the Sydney track likely to be upgraded out of the Heavy range by the weekend with sunny skies finally gracing NSW.
“The forecast in Sydney looks like it will improve but the amount of rain they have had up there would mean the track is still going to be soft on Saturday, which is why we put the entry in,” Hyland said.
Ideally Hyland would love to run her in Victoria on Saturday however preferably in the Winter Championship to try and get some black type on her record.
“The 1800 metres of either race is perfect for her now but getting even place black type for her would be terrific and of much more value for her than another city win,” he said.
To date Rock Princess has won seven of her 32 career starts.
Her most recent turf triumph was two back in a big 2.5 length effort over the Moonee Valley mile on June 15.
She was last seen finishing a brave third behind Dayita in the Travis Harrison Cup for fillies and mares at the same track and distance two weeks’ later.
Rock Princess has had just the one black type run so far when beaten under two lengths to finish sixth to Oasis Bloom in the Group 2 Stocks Stakes (1600m) in Melbourne last September.
And with a number of her owners also in the breeding game, snaring a black type victory becomes of high importance.
“Some of the boys in her are breeders so getting some sort of black type with her would be terrific for them,” Hyland explained.
Should she make the Winter Championship field then Rock Princess will be ridden by Michael Walker.
If she’s knocked back into the Rising Stars Final she will reunite with apprentice hoop Ben Knobel, aboard for her past three consecutive starts.
Also in danger of missing out on a run in the Winter Championship Series Final field sitting 20th on the ballot is top Tasmanian galloper The Cleaner who will carry the 60kg topweight if they get in.
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