A standout performer in major staying events in both New Zealand and Australia this year, trainer Donna Logan is confident classy filly Rising Romance has the form and class to overcome the wide and awkward barrier 17 in this weekend’s featured Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).
Securing a commendable record of four race wins and as many minor places over her 13 start career so far, Rising Romance has steadily built to the task over her three appearances on course this season and is charged with carry just 53kgs in the 2014 Caulfield Cup.
Understandably disappointed when allocated the wide draw at Wednesday’s barrier allocation, Logan said the 2014 Caulfield Cup figures as the opportunity for a lifetime for the Ekraar mare and is confident recent form, work and the confirmation of leading jockey James McDonald for the ride will all contribute towards a competitive performance on Saturday.
“It’s a chance of a lifetime. We’ve got a very well horse and it’s up to James to sort out the barrier draw,” Logan said.
“I couldn’t be happier with her, she just keeps stepping up every time but she’s yet to prove herself this four-year-old campaign and this is the biggest test of her life.
“We planned to come the easy way through and be hitting her straps for Saturday and I think we’re not far off.
“The track and where they’re running on the day … there’s a lot of tactics to work out.”
Contesting several memorable battles with fellow kiwi and 2014 Caulfield Cup favourite Lucia Valentina through summer and autumn, Logan said she is confident Rising Romance is again capable of finishing in the clear of her classy rival.
“Couldn’t take anything away from her run in the Mackinnon (meaning the Turnbull Stakes); it was amazing,” Logan said of Lucia Valentina’s recent form.
“She’s come back as a fantastic four-year-old and we have to prove we have too, but we have had pretty equal peggings all the way through.”
Winning the Group 2 Royal Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie on January 1st before finishing second to Puccini in both the Group 2 Avondale Guineas (2100m) and Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m), Rising Romance was unlucky to be held up in the final straight and fourth in the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) in her maiden Australian appearance on April 5th, but responded in the best way possible when breaking through for a maiden victory at the highest level of racing in the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) on April 19th.
Finishing fourth in the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) first-up this time, the mare out of Post Romance was disappointing when seventh in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) on September 20th, but again responded well when finishing a close second in the Group 3 Craven Plate (2000m) last time out.
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