The opening Group 1 race of the new season could be the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival kick-off for Rising Romance with co-trainer Tom Dabernig naming next month’s Memsie Stakes 2015 as a possible target for the smart Kiwi expat.
The former Donna Logan-trained daughter of Ekraar is a rising five-year-old whose record stands at 18 starts for five wins and a just under $1.5 million in prize money thanks to a host of good Group 1 runs.
The latest of her victories was over 1500m back in her native New Zealand at Ellerslie in mid-February, which kicked off a three run autumn campaign for the Group 1 winning mare.
Rising Romance has form down under dating back to April last year when she debuted in Australia with a fourth to Lucia Valentina in the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill.
That followed a second the month before in the Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) behind Puccini and was proceeded by her own elite level success when showing her affinity for the mile and a half with a victory at Randwick in the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m).
She returned to race in both Sydney and Melbourne during the spring with her season headlined by a brave second when beaten under half a length by ill-fated Japanese galloper Admire Rakti in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).
This autumn Rising Romance’s best run was in the Group 1 New Zealand Stakes (2000m) when runner-up behind Sakhee’s Soldier, while her last start was in Rosehill’s Group 3 Epona Stakes (1900m) where she finished second to Scratchy Bottom in an upset.
The mare has had her final run for Logan and is now prepared in Victoria by Hall of Fame trainer David Hayes and his nephew Dabernig, who confirmed she would have a jumpout soon at their private training facility at Euroa.
“She’s going to have an unofficial trial here at the farm early next week and then she’ll be heading down to Flemington to wind up,” Dabernig told Racing Ahead on RSN.
“She’s probably carting a little bit too much condition at the moment but that’ll tighten now that her work is stepping up.”
Dabernig also confirmed a likely starting point for the new season for Rising Romance in the $400,000 Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield Racecourse on August 29.
Hayes & Dabernig also have promising Fastnet Rock colt Petrology eyeing a Memsie Stakes bid after he returns to racing in the Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes at Caulfield this weekend.
The Memsie Stakes is already shaping up as a top showdown by some of the season’s most promising gallopers that could be heading for bigger staying features during the carnival including Caulfield Guineas runner-up Rich Enuff and last year’s The Goodwood champ Smokin’ Joey who was last seen winning the Listed Eye Liner Stakes at Ipswich in mid-June.
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