Real Love will face the toughest test of her racing career to date in the 2015 Orr Stakes, but trainer Adam Durrant is confident that the talented mare can finish in the placings in the Group 1 event at Caulfield tomorrow.
Real Love joined the Durrant stable before the start of her summer campaign and she stamped himself as one of the most promising mares in the country with three straight victories in the Group 3 Queen’s Cup (2200m), Listed Western Australian St Leger (2100m) and Group 2 Perth Cup (2400m).
Durrant admits that Real Love will face stiff competition against the likes of Dissident in the 2015 Orr Stakes field, but he told Racing Ahead that Real Love is a better horse than 2013 Orr Stakes placegetter Mr Moet and he believes that the daughter of Desert King can replicate the effort of her former stablemate this weekend.
“It is certainly her biggest test to date,” Durrant said.
“The likes of Happy Trails, Dissident and Mourinho are in good nick and there are a couple of handy three-year-olds, but we are hopeful that we can go a couple better than we did two years ago when we were over.
“I have only had her for the five runs and she was prepared elsewhere before that.
“Basically after I gave her her first trial I said to Bob Peters that this thing is something special.
“She should have won easily first-up for me over 1400, she was very unlucky, and then she backed it up three weeks later and won over 1500 metres.
“She had to go back to 1400 again in a feature race because we were trying to sneak into the Railway and you couldn’t have shot her with a 303 at the 600 and she was just a mile off them, but she ended up being beaten a head and she just levitated in the last 200.
“We basically knew that we had something pretty special after that run and from then she has been unbeaten.
“I am pretty confident that she will finish in the first three provided she brings her work and her previous form to Melbourne with her.”
Real Love was ridden as a backmarker in the first three starts of her 2014 Perth Summer Racing Carnival campaign, but she showed tactical versatility in the Queen’s Cup and the Western Australian St Leger before she led from start to finish in the Perth Cup.
Durrant said that he will be leaving the riding instructions up to jockey Craig Williams, but he expects the four-year-old to settle in the middle of the Orr Stakes field before hitting the line strongly in the final stages.
“She has been very adaptable; she has been able to sit back and on New Year’s Day she jumped straight on the bunny and led and was just too strong,” Durrant said.
“I thought that it would be a disaster when she was in front, but she just powered away and it just shows what a good filly she really is.
“I will just leave it up to Craig.
“She can go back, she can go forward and obviously this isn’t her grand final.
“She will probably get into a midfield sort of spot and I would just like to see her hitting the line.”
Real Love is currently available at 2015 Orr Stakes odds of $15, while Dissident ($3.20) remains a clear favourite from Petrology ($6.50) and Java ($8) with Ladbrokes Australia.