The Winter Championship Series Final shapes as a logical next target for the Grahame Begg-trained Romancer after he pressed his claims for the Listed race with a victory at Flemington.
Five-year-old Romancer is the first horse Begg has had for prominent syndicator OTI Racing and the gelding was having his second start for the trainer in Saturday’s 1400m-open handicap at Flemington.
The race was a heat of the Winter Championship Series in Melbourne and Romancer, who carried 52kg after Lachlan King’s 2kg claim, enjoyed the soft conditions and held off a late challenge by Blazejowski to win by a half-head.
“I think we’ve got to go to the Final. You never know, he might get the same conditions again on that day,” Begg said.
“I reckon he’s a 1400 to 1600-metre horse.
“He’s in the race and he’s qualified, so why wouldn’t you go there?
“He’s trained out of Pinecliff and he loves the environment down there. ”
Romancer had his first 14 starts in New Zealand where he registered four wins including a Listed victory as a three-year-old.
He won the Donald Cup last November during a 10-start preparation for now-disqualified Victorian trainer Darren Weir before being transferred to Begg earlier this year.
Romancer’s stablemate and another former New Zealander, Our Libretto, has been retired after her third in Saturday’s Listed Tattersall’s Cup (3000m) at Eagle Farm.
She will begin a new career in the breeding barn after winning five races under Begg’s care.