Trainer David Hayes is hoping that Rising Romance gets better luck in running than she got at the barrier draw after coming up with gate seventeen in the Group 1 $500,000 Yellowglen Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Sunday.
Jockey Damian Lane will have to be at his best to secure a decent run for Rising Romance who will jump from the outside gate when the final field is reduced to the maximum sixteen runners at scratching time on Sunday morning.
But Hayes was not all doom and gloom and said that the wide gate could play into her favour after he blamed the inside barrier for her defeat last start when second to Fawkner in the Group 1 $400,000 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 12.
“She got a disappointing barrier, but the inside barrier got her beat the other day. She is still trying to get out,” Hayes said.
“I loved her work late, she has trained on very well. If she gets a reasonable run from that horror barrier she could run well.”
Lane gave Rising Romance a cosy run on the fence from the inside gate but when he needed room in the straight to launch his claim on the mare, the gaps failed to open up in time.
The Makybe Diva Stakes was Rising Romance’s second run back this campaign and followed her first up sixth to Boban in the Group 1 $400,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 29.
The step up in distance to 2000m will suit Rising Romance at this stage of her campaign as she works towards the Group 1 $3m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 17.
The five year old mare has only been under the care of Hayes and Tom Dabernig for her latest two starts and while under the care of New Zealand trainer Donna Logan prior to that, Rising Romance was able to win the 2014 Group 1 $1m Seven News Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick and then ran second to Admire Rakti in the Caulfield Cup during the 2014 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
Rising Romance is well up in the market order for the Turnbull Stakes at $8.50 in a wide betting race with Ladbrokes.com.au.
Hayes will also saddle up one of the outsiders of the field, $34 chance Extra Zero, and the Hall Of Fame trainer wouldn’t be surprised if he was to cause an upset.
The nine year old will be taking a huge step back up to Group 1 level after running fourth in a 1700m Flemington Handicap on September 12 but he has proven in the past that he can mix it at the top level when a close second to stablemate Spillway in the Group 1 $1m Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington during the Melbourne Autumn Carnival earlier in the year.
“I just really like him at the weights,” Hayes said.
“I think he is probably in better form now than when he was when he nearly won the Australian Cup last year and that was at weight for age.”
“I think he is a great outsider.”
Turnbull Stakes market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $6 Alpine Eagle, Royal Descent, $7 Hartnell, Amralah, $8.50 Rising Romance, $14 Happy Trails, $15 Volkstok’N’Barrell, $16 Preferment, $17 Dandino, Who Shot Thebarman, $18 Set Square, $21 Weary, Gust Of Wind, $34 Extra Zero, $41 Protectionist, $71 Magicool, $101 Awesome Rock.