Trainer Donna Logan has revealed that 2014 Caulfield Cup contender Rising Romance will return to the races in the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on September 6.
Rising Romance has not been seen at the races since she recorded an impressive victory in the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) at Royal Randwick on April 19, but has returned to trackwork and is set to make her first public appearance in a barrier trial at the end of the month before heading to Australia.
Logan told The New Zealand Racing Desk that Rising Romance would start her 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign in the Tramway Stakes, will step-up to Group 1 level for the George Main Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on September 20 and will have one more start in the Group 3 Craven Plate (2000m) at the same venue on October 4 before heading to Melbourne for her major spring assignment – the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 18.
“She’ll get in on the minimum and that’s the most suitable race for her this year,” Logan said of the Caulfield Cup.
“We’ll be looking at giving her a trial here at the end of the month and then she’ll run in the Tramway Handicap at Randwick on September 6 and probably the George Main Stakes two weeks later.
“Her regular rider said she can’t believe the strength about her now.”
Rising Romance has had just ten race starts, but stamped herself as one of the best staying fillies of her generation with a string of impressive performances in both Australia and New Zealand during her maiden racing campaign.
The Ekraar mare broke through for her maiden race win after three starts in New Zealand and made her black type racing debut with a win in the Listed Trevor Eagle Memorial (1500m) at Ellerslie on November 30.
Rising Romance finished third in the Group 2 Eight Carat Classic (1600m) at Ellerslie on December 26 and returned to winning form in the Group 2 Bloodstock Royal Stakes (2000m) on January 1 before she finished second behind Puccini in both the Group 2 Avondale Guineas (2100m) and Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m).
The talented mare made her Australian racing debut with an unlucky fourth place finish behind Lucia Valentina in the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens on April 5 before she recorded her maiden Group 1 victory with an impressive performance in the Australia Oaks.
Rising Romance will become the first horse since How Now in 1976 to complete the Australian Oaks/Caulfield Cup double if she is able to win the Caulfield Cup during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.