Real Love will head to the 2016 Adelaide Cup after she claimed her maiden race win in Melbourne with a strong staying performance in the 2016 Roy Higgins Quality at Flemington this afternoon.
Jockey Brad Rawiller was criticised for his ride on Real Love at Moonee Valley a fortnight ago, but he gave the talented mare the perfect ride in transit and she peeled out at the top of the straight to take up the challenge to leader Assign.
Dandy Gent looked as though he was going to finish over the top of Real Love, but she toughed it out to the line bravely to claim her first race win since she took out the Group 3 Asian Beau Stakes (1400m) at Ascot on October 31.
Rawiller said that Real Love can be a tricky horse to handle, but he was happy with the way that she travelled in the Roy Higgins Quality and he believes the race was the perfect lead-up for the 2016 Adelaide Cup.
“Today she raced better,” Rawiller said.
“It ended up being a fight and the other horse all but headed me and then we had it covered on the line.
“It was a good tough effort heading towards the Adelaide Cup.”
Real Love performed well without winning in her first two starts this preparation, but Weir was happy with her progress and was confident that she would get the job done in the Roy Higgins Quality this afternoon.
Weir confirmed that Real Love will contest the 2016 Adelaide Cup at Morphettville on March 14 and he believes she is now spot-on for the two mile test.
“Each run she has progressed really well and she has come on at home with her training as well,” Weir said.
“She got a lovely ride from Brad there today.
“At the furlong I thought the other horse was going to run past her, but she toughed it out really well.
“I would just like to thank Bob and Sandra Peters for sending us over a couple of really nice horses and for the previous trainers that had them for having them in great order when they come to us.
“It certainly makes our job a lot easier.
“She is going really well.
“She was very fresh and well in the yard first-up and she ground into third place, she trained on nicely and presented better in the yard second-up and today she presented better again in the yard.
“I would think that will have her spot on for Adelaide and the two mile won’t be a problem the way she ran through the line today.”
Assign was well-backed in the lead-up to the Roy Higgins Quality and he took up the running, but he was one of the first horses beaten and faded badly.