Jockey Damian Lane is hoping Rising Romance can go one better in this year’s Group 1 $3m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on Saturday and admits there will be nerves as he lines up for his first ride in the famous mile and a half handicap.
“I’m sure there will be some nerves closer to the race, but it’s not going to affect my riding performance,” Lane told The Herald Sun.
Rising Romance ran second to the gallant Japanese stayer Admire Rakti in last year’s Caulfield Cup with James McDonald in the saddle when the mare was prepared by top Kiwi trainer Donna Logan.
But connections transferred the five year old mare to Lindsay Park trainers David Hayes and Tom Dabenig for a Spring Carnival campaign and Lane’s alignment with the stable has seen him obtain the ride this year.
Lane has been aboard Rising Romance at her last two starts for a second to Fawkner in the Group 1 $400,000 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 12 following by a twelfth, after being caught wide, to Preferment in the Group 1 $500,000 Yellowglen Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 4.
The 2400m of the Caulfield Cup will be ideal for Rising Romance and Lane will be able to save plenty of ground after the mare drew gate two at the Caulfield Cup barrier draw on Tuesday.
“She proved last year she has got what it takes,” Lane said.
If you fancy Rising Romance as your Caulfield Cup pick, you can get over the odds and take advantage of Ladbrokes Caulfield Cup Day Special Offer of Best Tote or SP + 20% on every race at Caulfield this Saturday up to a maximum bet of $50.
Lane made the trip to Lindsay Park at Auroa on Monday morning to get a feel of Rising Romance before Saturday and was pleased with her final hard hitout before the Caulfield Cup.
“I popped up to Euroa to give her a final hitout and she felt like a happy horse and she’s in very good order,” Lane said.
Co-trainer Tom Dabenig said that the stable was happy with Rising Romance’s progress since her unlucky effort in the Turnbull Stakes and will send her to Caulfield this week in top condition.
“She’s tighter and fitter, so I think she’ll take great benefit from that. She’s in tip-top shape,” Dabernig said.
“I thought her two runs before that were excellent, and she came out of last start in great shape.”
“She was in an awkward spot all the way, but in the run to the line she was quite good late.”
Rising Romance is well up the order in Caulfield Cup betting with Ladbrokes.com.au marking her as an $11 chance alongside the English invader Snow Sky.
The Murray Baker trained Mongolian Khan heads the market order at $4.20 ahead of Hauraki at $8.50, last year’s Crown Oaks winner Set Square at $9 and Japanese stayer Fame Game at $10.
Ladbrokes are also offering a great offer for punters having a bet early in the day on Caulfield Cup Day. If your first fixed odds win bet in races 1 – 5 wins, your will get 50% extra on your winnings on your first winner up to a maximum bet of $50.
Caulfield Cup market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.20 Mongolian Khan, $8.50 Hauraki, $9 Set Square, $10 Fame Game, $11 Snow Sky, Rising Romance, $15 Hokko Brave, Complacent, $17 Gust Of Wind, Magic Hurricane, $18 Royal Descent, $26 Volkstok’N’Barrell, Our Ivanhowe, Who Shot Thebarman, Trip To Paris, $31 Lucia Valentina, $41 Protectionist, Grand Marshall, $51 Dibayani, Magnapal, $61 Quest For More, $126 Magicool.