Melbourne Cup winning trainer Darren Weir will chase another prestigious two mile race next start with impressive mare Real Love heading into the Adelaide Cup 2016 on the back of a gutsy Flemington win in Saturday’s Roy Higgins Quality.
The stable already has a livewire hope for the $400,000 Group 2 Adelaide Cup (3200m) at Morphettville on March 14 in Signoff, who will be joined in the classic by recent stable acquisition Real Love.
The classy five-year-old daughter of Desert King is raced by prolific owner-breeders Bob and Sandra Peters out of Perth, where the mare raced up until her transfer to Weir at the start of the year.
Her final run in WA was a third to Delicacy in the Group 2 Perth Cup (2400m) after which she debuted in Victoria with a Flemington third over the 2000m.
She improved off that for a black-type third at Moonee Valley on February 19 in the Listed Torney Cup (2500m) before breaking her Melbourne maiden for Weir in the $120,000 Listed Roy Higgins Quality (2600m) on Australian Guineas Day.
Ridden by Brad Rawiller Real Love got a gun run throughout the staying showdown settled into a comfortable fourth on the outside in a race led up front early by the Robert Hickmott-trained Assign who came off back-to-back February wins in Melbourne.
Assign held the top spot throughout ahead of Chris Waller’s Excites seven-year-old Black Jag, Real Love getting the nice trail fourth just behind improving four-year-old Dandy Gent.
Jockey Nicholas Hall dictated the race aboard the favourite Assign, but the challenges started to move up closer coming around the turn for home.
Black Jag quickly had a crack at Assign who had things his way throughout, Real Love easing out three wide to finish off the race.
Hall put the whip to Assign with 400m left to travel and the favourite faded as Real Love got her nose in front inside the final 200m driving forward.
Dandy Gent ($21) was coming home very strong and looked like he would run away from the mare, but Real Love ($2.70) got there a neck in front to continue her Adelaide Cup bid.
Off an on-pace ride in second, Black Jag ($15) held for third to finish off the Roy Higgins Quality trifecta.
Proving her class once more Real Love posted her seventh win from 23 career starts and Rawiller was impressed with her tenacity.
“Today she raced better,” he said.
“It was a good tough effort going towards the Adelaide Cup.”
Weir also rates Real Love a genuine Adelaide Cup horse believing the extra metres later in the month will only work to her advantage.
“Each run she’s progressed really well and she’s come on at home as well,” he said.
“She toughed it out really well. She’s going really well.
“I would think that would have her spot on for Adelaide and the two miles wouldn’t be a problem the way she ran through the line there.”
Now is the time to discover the benefits of betting online with Ladbrokes.com.au where first time depositing players are rewarded with up to $500 in bonus bets with use of the code BETBONUS!
2016 Roy Higgins Quality Results & Finishing Order
Flemington Race 4 – 05/03/2016
|1||2||REAL LOVE||Darren Weir||Brad Rawiller||–||8||56.5kg||$2.70|
|2||9||DANDY GENT||Terry & Karina O’Sullivan||Luke Currie||0.3L||4||54kg||$21|
|3||5||BLACK JAG||Chris Waller||Dwayne Dunn||3.05L||6||54kg||$13|
|4||6||VILANOVA (NZ)||Chris Waller||Craig Newitt||4.3L||2||54kg||$18|
|5||4||ASSIGN (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||Nicholas Hall||4.7L||5||54kg||$2.20F|
|6||8||WALES||Richard Laming||Steven King||5L||7||54kg||$26|
|7||3||LIKE A CAROUSEL||Ken Keys||Glen Boss||6.75L||1||54.5kg||$41|
|8||10||DANE HUSSLER||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Ben Melham||10.5L||3||54kg||$81|
|–||1||SIGNOFF (IRE)||Darren Weir||Harry Coffey (a)||–||0||–||–|
|–||7||MUJADALE||Paul A Jones||Stephen Baster||–||0||–||–|