2015 Caulfield Cup Most Likely Target for Rising Romance

Connections of the now Lindsay Park-trained mare Rising Romance are leaning towards a Caulfield Cup 2015 run next month with the former Kiwi but still haven’t altogether ruled out the Cox Plate a week later.

Rising Romance

Former ATC Oaks winner Rising Romance will run in either the Caulfield Cup or Cox Plate this October in Melbourne. Photo: Steve Hart.

Formerly prepared in New Zealand for Donna Logan for whom she won the Group 1 ATC Oaks (2400m) in Sydney last year as a three-year-old, the now David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Ekraar mare Rising Romance has had two runs this time in.

Not having won a race since mid-February back at Ellerslie in NZ, the five-year-old ran a first-up sixth to Boban in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield before an improved second behind Fawkner in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington a fortnight ago.

The Robert Hickmott-trained Makybe Diva Stakes winner Fawkner heads nominations for this weekend’s $400,000 Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield Racecourse, Rising Romance also entered for the weight-for-age clash.

Assistant trainer to Hayes & Dabernig Gary Fennessey however confirmed to Racing Victoria she is more likely to be saved for $500,000 Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Sunday October 4.

“She’ll probably run in the Turnbull (Stakes) as her next start and then David (Hayes) will work it out from there which way he goes,” he said.

“She’s come on very well, improved and going up in distance – she can only get better.

“Only that last start over a mile, we thought they might have been a bit nifty for her but she probably should’ve won the race.

“You’d think getting to 2000m she’d be very hard to beat.”

After the Turnbull the options are still open for the $1.56 million earner.

Fennessey said the team was leaning towards a step up to the mile and a half on October 17 for the $3 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) but that the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) over less distance at Moonee Valley the next Saturday could also be a possibility.

In case she is taken to the Cox Plate, Rising Romance had her first look around the famously tight Moonee Valley circuit on Tuesday morning in a strong piece of work alongside the Tony McEvoy-trained duo Alpine Eagle and Big Memory.

“Just to give her a look at the place, in case plans change a bit and you come and run here,” Fennessy said.

“I think her main race will be the Caulfield Cup, but you never know, if you have some setbacks or something, you might switch.”

In the workout Damian Lane was on the mare’s back and by his reports she is heading towards her bigger spring goals in top condition.

“He was very happy with her,” Fennessy said.

“He worked with the inside horse – Big Memory – he said he was probably travelling a bit better than him and (Alpine Eagle) had a bit of a harder gallop because it wanted to get to the line.

“I was impressed with her, it was very good work.”

Second declarations for both the Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate closed at midday today.

Before the second acceptances Rising Romance was a $13 chance in futures Caulfield Cup betting at Ladbrokes.com.au led by the Japanese-trained Fame Game and paid $17 in the all-in Cox Plate odds that had Kermadec ($7) as the top fancy after his George Main win in Sydney last weekend.

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