The deteriorating track conditions at Rosehill have proven no issue for three-year-old Deep Romance, although the same cannot be said for winning jockey Josh Parr.
Following consistent rain overnight and throughout the morning, Rosehill was downgraded to a heavy 9 after the opening race.
Deep Romance ($5) made light work of the testing surface, settling last and finishing resolutely to claim the Ned Australian Whiskey Handicap (1300m) by 1-3/4 lengths over leader Dehorned Unicorn ($4 fav), with Sungblue ($5) another 4-1/4 lengths away third.
While the rain-soaked track was to Deep Romance’s liking, a mud-splattered Parr wasn’t such a fan.
“It’s putrid, I have to be honest. This is hard work,” Parr said.
“Interestingly enough, she has mixed up her patterns and her performances and it has all been based on how they have ridden her.
“You ask her early, she is right there for you up on speed, which they did last time and it backfired on them.
“Today I dropped my hands on her and she drifted out of the contest early, picked up the bit halfway around and I started to get confident inside the 500 (metres) when they were dropping off outside of me and she was cruising up underneath quite well.”
Deep Romance was comfortably beaten in midweek grade last start when ridden handy to the speed, but prior to that she was placed in similar company off a more patient ride.
Trainer Matt Dunn was confident she could bounce back in Saturday grade provided she wasn’t hustled in the early stages and despite a few anxious moments, his plan worked.
“I was a bit concerned when we were three lengths behind the second last horse and off the bridle at the 900 (metres),” Dunn said.
“But you could see she was just starting to get into her work and that is definitely the way to ride her.
“She wasn’t suited by being ridden on the speed last start and she has proved today that she has got a great finish on her, even on heavy ground, when ridden that way.”