Australian representative Rising Romance has drawn nicely at barrier four for the Group 1 HK$20m Audemars Piguet QEII Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin in Hong Kong on Sunday.
In a final field of thirteen high quality international gallopers, jockey Damian Lane will be able to give Rising Romance the run of the race from the favourable draw.
Rising Romance is one of the outsiders of the field at $21 and is coming off a last start fourth to Lucia Valentina in the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on day two of ‘The Championships’ on April 9 and trainer David Hayes admits that five year old mare doesn’t need to do much to maintain her fitness for the QEII Cup.
“I will have her going into the race fresh rather than having hard gallops,” Hayes told the Herald Sun.
“I think that might me a good ploy. We have to factor in the trip and running again two weeks after her last run, so we’ll see how she goes.
“She is very fit, has settled in well and is eating.”
Japan’s Lovely Day with Hong Kong’s leading jockey Joao Moreira in the saddle has drawn the inside gate and has been installed the equal $4.60 favourite alongside of local hope Werther.
The John Moore trained Werther has drawn barrier five and will be ridden by Australia’s leading Group 1 winning jockey Hugh Bowman who was aboard the four year old for his last start win in the Group 1 HK$18m The BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m) at Sha Tin on March 20.
Moore will also saddle up Designs On Rome (barrier 2) with Tommy Berry to ride and Helene Happy Star (barrier 12) with Blake Shinn aboard.
The Aidan O’Brien trained Highland Reel from Ireland has drawn midfield at barrier six with Ryan Moore in the saddle.
Rising Romance had an easy work out on the course proper at Sha Tin on Tuesday morning, stretching her legs over 800m in 59.8 seconds with a final 400m in 27.7 seconds and her travelling handler Jacob Jeffs has reported that she has arrived fit and well into her new environment.
“All the indicators are positive at this stage. She arrived here fit; she looks well, she looks good in the coat and overall she’s a very straightforward mare,” Jeffs said.
Rising Romance was the winner of the 2014 Group 1 $1m Seven News Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick while under the care of Kiwi trainer Donna Logan but is yet to win at Group 1 level for the Lindsay Park Team of Hayes and Tom Dabernig.
QEII Cup field: 1 Blazing Speed (3), 2 Highland Reel (6), 3 Lovely Day (1), 4 Designs On Rome (2), 5 Military Attack (9), 6 Helene Happy Star (12), 7 Satano Crown (8), 8 Helene Super Star (13), 9 Ertijaal (11), 10 Werther (5), 11 Horse Of Fortune (10), 12 Nuovo Record (7), 13 Rising Romance (4).
QEII Cup market order: $4.60 Werther, Lovely Day, $4.80 Highland Reel, $5.50 Designs On Rome, $8 Nuovo Record, $10 Satano Crown, $12 Blazing Speed, $21 Rising Romance, $26 Military Attack, Ertijaal, $41 Horse Of Fortune, $67 Helene Happy Star, $151 Helene Super Star.