Ciaron Maher has been thrilled with the form produced by five-year-old Hard Romp this time and is confident the conditions of Saturday’s Listed All Victorian Sprint Series Final (1200m) at Flemington will play directly into his strengths.
Returning to racing for success in the 3aw Community Raceday Handicap (1000m) on April 11th, Hard Romp ran on for a credible third behind Lumosty in the All Victorian Sprint Series Heat (1100m) on May 9th before returning to the winner’s circle in the Rod Johnson Handicap (1100m) on June 13th.
Having run third in the Takeover Target Tribute Handicap (1100m) last time out on June 27th, Maher told Racing Ahead he is confident the Hard Spun gelding is at his best down the straight and believes jockey Michael Dee will again get the best from his runner in the 2015 All Victorian Sprint Series Final.
“A great campaign, he’s had quite a few runs now and really seems to be enjoying the straight,” Maher said.
“He’s been really consistent, I think he’ll run the 1200m and I’ve just been keeping him nice and fresh.
“Micky Dee takes the ride and he’s had a good repour with the horse so hopefully it can continue.
“He’s always been a bit funny around tracks with a bend; he gets his head up and doesn’t really corner that well.
“I was keen to get him to the straight but I think he really enjoys this time of year and also the straight so the combination of the two is I think why he’s in such consistent form.”
Hard Romp has posted six wins and a further ten minors through 25 career starts so far and stamped his claims as one to watch from his first competitive appearance on course in mid-2012; charging home to finish a close second in the Natalie Hunter Handicap (1000m).
Undoubtedly finding career-best form to date through the 2014 Melbourne winter and early spring, Hard Romp finished worse than second only once in six appearances which included a comfortable win over classy company in the Brief Affair BM78 (1013m) in late August.
Allocated barrier 2, Hard Romp has been charged with carrying 57.5kgs in the 2015 All Victorian Sprint Series Final.
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