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A benchmark race at Rosehill could have a big bearing on the final Australian Classics of the season.

Saturday’s More Than Ready Hcp (1900m) for three-year-old will be a pointer to next month’s Queensland Oaks and Derby with New Zealand filly Romantic Maid among those pressing Group One claims.

Her trainer Roger James also entered Von Tunzelman but he has already been scratched.

“Von Tunzelman wasn’t assured of a run so we decided against bringing him,” James said.

“Romantic Maid is due to fly over tonight (Wednesday). She needs to earn prize money and get her rating up if she is to go the Oaks.”

James hoped Romantic Maid would do just that at her most recent start in a Group Two race at Ellerslie on April 23.

But she lost all chance when her rider Danielle Johnson came off.

“She clipped heels but she didn’t fall,” James said.

“She stayed on her feet but lost her rider so that was the end of her race.

“She has had one trip away of five hours in a float so I’m hoping she copes well with the travel.”

Apart from the Ellerslie mishap, Romantic Maid has had three starts, winning two over 1400 and 1600 metres.

She will be ridden by Singapore-based Australian jockey Michael Rodd who will fly to Sydney to ride in seven of the nine races.

His presence will help boost the senior riding ranks with four of Sydney’s leading six jockeys missing the meeting.

Premiership leader James McDonald and third placed Blake Shinn are riding at the Gold Coast meeting while Hugh Bowman (2nd) and Tommy Berry (6th) are in Japan.

 
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