Lindsay Park co-trainer David Hayes is keen to keep Rising Romance on the fresh side in the lead up to the Group 1 HK$20m Audemars Piguet QEII Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin in Hong Kong on Sunday.
Rising Romance is the sole Australian representative in Hong Kong’s highest ranked Group 1 race and is coming off a last start fourth to Lucia Valentina in the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on day two of ‘The Championships’ on April 9.
The Queen Elizabeth Stakes was Rising Romance’s fifth Autumn Carnival run and Hayes said that the five year old mare doesn’t need to do much to maintain her fitness for the QEII Cup.
“I will have her going into the race fresh rather than having hard gallops,” Hayes told the Herald Sun.
“I think that might me a good ploy. We have to factor in the trip and running again two weeks after her last run, so we’ll see how she goes.
“She is very fit, has settled in well and is eating.”
Rising Romance had an easy work out on the course proper at Sha Tin on Tuesday morning, stretching her legs over 800m in 59.8 seconds with a final 400m in 27.7 seconds and her travelling handler Jacob Jeffs has reported that she has arrived fit and well into her new environment.
“All the indicators are positive at this stage. She arrived here fit; she looks well, she looks good in the coat and overall she’s a very straightforward mare,” Jeffs said.
“She doesn’t need to do much here and this morning (Tuesday) she wasn’t out to run any quicker than she did. The rider’s happy and that’s the main thing as she knows her well.”
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 ran second 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.
Rising Romance has been installed as one of the outsiders in the QEII Cup field at $26 in a market order that has the John Moore trained locals Werther at $4.40 and Designs On Rome at $4.80 vying for favouritism.
The Japanese galloper Lovely Day is next in the betting at $5 just ahead of the Aidan O’Brien trained Highland Reel at $6.
QEII Cup market order: $4.40 Werther, $4.80 Designs On Rome, $5 Lovely Day, $6 Highland Reel, $8 Nuovo Record, $8.50 Satano Crown, $14 Blazing Speed, $17 Ertijaal, $21 Military Attack, $26 Rising Romance, $34 Helene Happy Star, $51 Horse Of Fortune, $101 Helene Super Star.