Damian Lane’s association with Rising Romance has yet to reap a big race reward despite a couple of near misses, but the jockey is hoping their day will come in the Makybe Diva Stakes.
Lane has finished second in three Group One races on the mare in the past year, including the 2015 Makybe Diva Stakes.
Their latest second placing came in the Group One Memsie Stakes at Caulfield on August 27 behind Black Heart Bart.
Lane admits Black Heart Bart is the one he fears most again in Saturday’s Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington but is hoping Rising Romance can get the run of the race from barrier two.
“She’s going really well and she’s drawn barrier two which helps,” Lane said.
“Obviously Black Heart Bart is going to be ultra-hard to beat again, but I couldn’t be happier where she’s at and the frame of mind she is in at the moment.
“I should be able to cuddle her up right on the back of the speed and save her for one short sprint at the end.”
Black Heart Bart is the $2.25 favourite with Damien Oliver replacing the suspended Brad Rawiller.
His Darren Weir-trained stablemate Palentino is at $6 with Rising Romance and Tarzino at $10.
Rising Romance, winner of the 2014 Group One Australian Oaks, was narrowly beaten by Fawkner in the Makybe Diva last year.
“I was a touch unlucky on her in the Makybe Diva last year, so hopefully we can go one better,” Lane said.
“She was three back on the fence and didn’t get clear galloping room until the last 150 metres and Fawkner had the momentum on her.”
The combination’s other Group One runner-up finish was also at Flemington in the Mackinnon Stakes.
Lane is well acquainted with Black Heart Bart having gone close to winning the Newmarket Handicap on him earlier this year.
“He’s a very good horse and the mile won’t worry him a bit,” he said.
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au