Trainer Donna Logan is delighted with the condition of Rising Romance ahead of the 2014 Australian Oaks on Saturday, but admits that she is worried about the condition of the Royal Randwick track.
Rising Romance made her Australian racing debut in the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens on April 5 and she made up plenty of ground in the final stages of the race, after being blocked for a run coming around the final turn, to finish fourth behind Lucia Valentina.
Logan told Racing Ahead this morning that Rising Romance had taken plenty of benefit out of her Vinery Stud Stakes run and believes that she will appreciate the step-up to 2400 metres, but is worried about how the Ekraar filly will handled the Royal Randwick track, which is expected to be rated in the heavy range again.
“She worked really well this morning, has settled in amazing and is thriving,” Logan said.
“It was a bit hard when she got knocked at the start, we lost four lengths, and we copped a buffering twice in the straight, so it was a pretty good effort considering she hadn’t race for five weeks.
“She has really improved from that and taken a lot of improvement.
“She just gets better and better with racing and over here she has improved in herself considerably.
“If I have any doubts it is going to be the track conditions.
“I think they are pretty water-logged now and there is just a cloud over how we go through it.
“That is the biggest threat I have.”
Rising Romance has shown plenty of tactical versatility throughout her racing career and was ridden close to the speed when she beat Lucia Valentina to win the Group 2 New Zealand Bloodstock Royal Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day, but was ridden towards the tail of the field in both the Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) and the Vinery Stud Stakes.
Logan said that she would like to see Rising Romance ridden further forward in the 2014 Australian Oaks this weekend, but believes that the barrier draw for the Group 1 event could play a key role in deciding race tactics.
“She has won from handy, she has won from midfield, but she has never won from back,” Logan said.
“I would like to be planting mid-field, but the draw again is going to dictate where we run.”
Logan is chasing her first win in the Australian Oaks after previously missing the placings with Habibi (fourth in 2013) and Vapour Trial (ninth in 2002).