Another good performance by Rising Romance in the Group 2 $300,000 Zipping Classic (2400m) at Sandown on Saturday could see her cement a trip to the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s International Races Carnivval.
Rising Romance has been included in the entries for the Group 1 HK$25m Longines Hong Kong Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin on December 13 but first she has to overcome the outside barrier in the eight horse Zipping Classic.
“She has drawn the outside barrier at Sandown as well, but our theory is if she runs well, we will take up the invite to go to Hong Kong,” Hayes told the Herald Sun.
“But if she doesn’t run a really good race, we will miss Hong Kong and instead set her for the autumn.”
“I’ll have a chat with the owners on whether they want to run her and then come back in distance in Hong Kong.”
“She ran so well on the back-up from the Caulfield Cup to the Mackinnon and she’ll have a month break to the big race over there.”
Damian Lane will again partner Rising Romance in the Zipping Classic after being aboard the Ekraar mare for her last four runs including a close second to Fawkner in the Group 1 $400,000 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 12.
The pair then missed a place when twelfth to Preferment in the Group 1 $500,000 Yellowglen Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 4 and Hayes said that the mare was in ‘season’ when she ran thirteenth to Mongolian Khan in the Group 1 $3m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 17.
But Rising Romance bounced back to her best form with a half length second to Gailo Chop in the Group 1 $1m Longines Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 31, the first day of the four day Melbourne Cup Carnival.
The Lindsay Park training team of Hayes and Tom Dabernig could have two runners in the Hong Kong Cup if Rising Romance races well on Saturday and they also decide to send Melbourne Cup third placegetter Criterion as well.
“We’ll be making an assessment on his future plans, depending how he is, in ten days when I gallop him,” Hayes said.
“But there’s no decision as to where he is going yet.”
Last start Queens’ Cup winner Dandino heads the market order for the Zipping Classic at Ladbrokes.com.au at $3.20 with Rising Romance challenging for favouritism at $3.50.
The Chris Waller trained Who Shot Thebarman is next in the betting at $4.80 ahead of the Darren Weir trained Tall Ship at $7.
Zipping Classic market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.20 Dandino, $3.50 Rising Romance, $4.80 Who Shot Thebarman, $7 Tall Ship, $10 Kirramosa, $19 Sertorius, $31 Don Doremo, $51 Do You Remember.