Damian Lane is looking to the addition of blinkers being the spark for Rising Romance in her return to weight-for-age racing at Flemington.
Last year’s Caulfield Cup runner-up is set to contest the Group One Mackinnon Stakes on Saturday after connections decided to bypass Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup.
The five-year-old will sport blinkers for the first time and according to Lane, the mare worked stylishly in the headgear at Lindsay Park on Monday.
Lane has ridden the mare in her past three starts, including a disappointing 13th behind Mongolian Khan in the Caulfield Cup on October 17.
The lacklustre performance was put down to the mare being in season.
Lane said co-trainers David Hayes and Tom Dabernig were happy with the condition of the mare as she presses ahead to Saturday’s Group One contest.
“I was at Euroa on Monday morning to ride her in work and she still seems to be bouncing, fit and well,” Lane said.
“They’re going to add the blinkers to her this week and hopefully that can get her to where she should be.
“On Monday she worked really well in the blinkers, but she was working well prior to the Caulfield Cup, so hopefully they can switch her on that little bit that we need on raceday.”
Rising Romance has had four runs for the Lindsay Park team with her first two performances her best finishing efforts.
She finished a first-up sixth for Michael Rodd in the Memsie Stakes at Caulfield before being narrowly defeated by Fawkner in the Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington on September 12.
She covered ground when beaten just over three lengths in the Turnbull Stakes at Flemington before her Caulfield Cup effort.
“Her first two runs this campaign showed she was right on track,” Lane said.
“She seems happy and if she brings her best form she’s going to run really well.”
Rising Romance is a $21 chance in an open Mackinnon Stakes field.
Godolphin galloper Magic Hurricane is the $5.50 top elect ahead of Flamingo Star and Stratum Star at $8 with Fawkner, Contributer and Magic Artist on the next line at $9.