In-demand jockey Damian Lane has a gilt-edged chance to build on his reputation when he rides Rising Romance in the Group One Makybe Diva Stakes.
Lane claimed the first Group One win of his career on Trust In A Gust last spring and is looking forward to his next opportunity at Flemington on Saturday.
Last year’s Caulfield Cup runner-up Rising Romance turned in an encouraging performance first-up in the Memsie Stakes under Singapore-based Michael Rodd.
Sent from New Zealand trainer Donna Logan to David Hayes and Tom Dabernig for her spring campaign, Rising Romance hit the line well for sixth, 1-3/4 lengths behind the winner Boban.
“She looks like she is going super,” Lane said.
“Her first-up run was really good. She got held up a little bit at the top of the straight but I thought she finished really hard, and I’m very happy to be on board.
“Obviously it’s not her grand final. She’s got another couple of runs before she’s going to be peaking but a mile at Flemington is definitely going to suit her down to the ground.”
Lane had a stint in Hong Kong earlier this year and has been delighted with his form since his return.
He missed Memsie Stakes day through suspension but has ridden a couple of city winners so far this season and leads the statewide Victorian premiership.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better start and I’m riding for a wide variety of trainers and even some trainers that I haven’t ridden for before,” he said.
“It’s always good to expand your base, and I’m very happy with the way things are going.”
The Makybe Diva Stakes is expected to feature the spring return of 2013 Caulfield Cup winner and last year’s Cox Plate runner-up Fawkner who missed the Memsie because of a wide barrier.
Fawkner was narrowly beaten by Dissident first-up in the Makybe Diva Stakes last year before going on to win the Caulfield Stakes.