Rising Romance is set to head to the 2015 New Zealand Stakes after she scored a most impressive win in the Ophtalmic Instrument Company Handicap (1500m) at Ellerslie this afternoon.
Apprentice jockey Lee Magorrian settled Rising Romance at the tail of the field in the early stages of the race and she looked to be outpaced, but she exploded when asked for an extra effort and she caught Sports Illustrated on the line to record her first race win in New Zealand since she beat Lucia Valentina to win the New Zealand Bloodstock Royal Stakes (2000m) on New Year’s Day last year.
Logan stable representative Samantha Logan admitted that Rising Romance still had plenty of extra weight on her in the lead-up to her first-up assignment and believes that the talented mare will take plenty of improvement out of the run.
She confirmed that Rising Romance would have her next race start in the Group 1 New Zealand Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie before she returns to Australia for races like the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 28 and the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on April 11.
“That was great, her class carried her through today,” Logan told the media after the race.
“She showed an amazing turn of foot, but there’s still a ton of improvement in her, we pushed her quite hard to get ready for this and she came into the race quite big-barreled.
“She’ll come back here for the New Zealand Stakes and then push on to Sydney.
“It’s always a worry when you try to bring good horses like this back, whether they’ll be as good, so it was great to see her do that today.”
The Ophtalmic Instrument Company Handicap victory was the biggest win of Magorrian’s riding career to date and he was clearly delighted when he returned to scale on the 2014 Australian Oaks winner.
Magorrain said that Rising Romance was easily the best horse that he has ever ridden and, like Logan, feels that the Ekraar mare will take plenty of benefit from her first-up assignment.
“It was an indescribable feeling,” he said.
“There was just so much power when I asked her to quicken.
“It was really great to ride a good horse like this and I’m very grateful to the connections.”
Rising Romance has the chance to record her second win at Group 1 level in the New Zealand Stakes after she took out the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) in Sydney last year.