Running a close second to talented Japanese raider Admire Rakti in the featured Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) last time out, trainer Donna Logan is confident four-year-old mare Rising Romance is the runner to beat in Saturday’s Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington.
A standout performer for Logan since first debuting on course in late 2013, Rising Romance has steadily built to the task this time in and is reportedly in peak condition following her impressive performance at Caulfield on October 18th.
Initially confirming the Ekraar mare would return to her native New Zealand and the spelling paddock ahead of a 2015 Autumn campaign, Logan told The Age the form and constitution Rising Romance has displayed coming out of the Caulfield Cup is too good to ignore.
“Initially I was (hoping to go back to New Zealand) because we planned to come and have a crack at the Caulfield Cup and go home, but the way she pulled up out of the race there’s no reason not to go forward,” Logan said.
“She’s bright and well and I’m very pleased with how she pulled up. I’m thinking, ‘Oh, well, if that’s the case we might push on.
“She actually galloped on Saturday because she had gained quite a bit of weight … Her constitution is amazing, so realistically when you’ve got a horse thriving like that it would be silly to head home and miss a race like this.”
A proven performer over the distance, Logan conceded she is unsure the classy four-year-old will cope with a step-back to 2000m having been prepared for the 2400m journey of the Caulfield Cup.
“Coming back (to 2000m) is a bit of a question mark, obviously. I think (she is) capable of it and without a sprint in her feet she should cope with that,” Logan added.
“It’s going to be a bit of a pressure race, so you’re going to have to be hard and fit for it, which she will be.”
Finishing a close second to Puccini in both the Group 2 Avondale Guineas (2100m) and Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) in February and March, Rising Romance stamped her claims as one to watch immediately after arriving for a maiden Australian tilt; finishing fourth in the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) before breaking through for a maiden victory at the highest level of racing in the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m).
Allocated the somewhat wide and awkward barrier 12, Rising Romance is currently available at $5.50 odds for success in the Mackinnon Stakes; sharing the top line of betting with He’s You Man and Criterion.
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