Lindsay Park co-trainer David Hayes expects a bold showing from Rising Romance in the Group 1 HK$20m Audemars Piguet QEII Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin in Hong Kong on Sunday after drawing beautifully at barrier four in the thirteen horse field.
Melbourne jockey Damian Lane gets the ride again and Hayes anticipates he will have Rising Romance in the first half of the field without any trouble, before working into the clear in the straight.
“She won’t have to do any work,” Hayes told the Herald Sun.
“I’d say she’ll be in the first four or five, cruising.
“But she has got a great barrier, while they are all jostling, we will be absolutely cruising.”
Hayes is no stranger to racing in Hong Kong and was the winner of the trainer’s premiership twice during is nine year stint in the tough Asian racing hub from 1996 to 2005 and has returned recently with multiple group 1 winner Criterion with minor success.
Criterion ran third and ninth in the 2014 and 2015 Group 1 HK$25m Longines Hong Kong Cup (2000m) and sandwiched in between he finished third in last year’s QEII Cup.
“I am as confident with her as when Criterion had his first run here and nearly won and was the outsider of the field,” Hayes said.
“I would say this filly is probably going to be better value than him.”
Lane was aboard Rising Romance last start when fourth to Lucia Valentina in the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on the second day of ‘The Championships’ on April 9 and Hayes said that the mare had hit the front too early.
“We think we hit the front a bit early in the race in Sydney (Queen Elizabeth Stakes), so we won’t be rushing to the front,” Hayes said.
Rising Romance was the winner of the 2014 Group 1 $1m Seven News Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick while under the care of Kiwi trainer Donna Logan but is yet to win at Group 1 level for the Lindsay Park Team of Hayes and Tom Dabernig.
While Rising Romance has been unable to win from eleven starts for Lindsay Park, the Ekraar mare has been Group 1 placed on three occasions.
At her second start for her new stable, Rising Romance was runner up to Fawkner in the Group 1 $400,000 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington during the 2015 Melbourne Spring carnival and followed that up three runs later with a second to Gailo Chop in the Group 1 $1m Longines Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Derby Day.
Rising Romance has been around the mark during her recent Autumn Carnival campaign with her best effort being a third behind Preferment and Awesome Rock in the Group 1 $1.5m Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 12.
QEII Cup market order: $4 Lovely Day, $5.50 Werther, $6 Highland Reel, Designs On Rome, $7.50 Nuovo Record, Satano Crown, $13 Blazing Speed, $17 Ertijaal, $26 Military Attack, $34 Rising Romance, $51 Horse Of Fortune, $67 Helene Happy Star, $100 Helene Super Star.