A change of plans for Rising Romance has led to Singapore-based Michael Rodd gaining the Group One Memsie Stakes ride.
Last year’s Caulfield Cup runner-up will begin her campaign in the Memsie (1400m) on Saturday, two weeks earlier than originally intended.
Dwayne Dunn, who is to ride the mare through the spring, had already taken the ride on the Hawkes Racing-trained Entirely Platinum in the Memsie.
Rodd, who has previous wins in the race on Sincero (2012) and Atlantic Jewel (2013), got the nod when Hayes learned he would be in Melbourne to partner Vezelay in the Cockram Stakes.
“Michael’s in town and got the opportunity by chance,” Hayes said.
“In these races the jockeys are booked so early but I think he will suit her.
“I love jockeys that come back after an international stint as all of them do well.”
The Lindsay Park operation of Hayes and Tom Dabernig took over the training of Rising Romance from Donna Logan after her Sydney autumn campaign.
Among her Memsie opposition will be her former stablemate Volkstok’n’barrell, winner of the Rosehill Guineas.
Hayes said he made the decision to start Rising Romance this weekend after studying the program for the spring which has had some minor changes.
He said by kicking off earlier it allows for time during the preparation to make any tweaks should a problem arise.
The daughter of Ekraar has been nominated for the Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate.
“She’s been building up really well and I’m sure it will be a good stepping stone into a good spring,” Hayes said.
“I had the choice of giving her another trial or running in the Memsie, so I thought the Group One, and if she happens to run well in it is going to help her value.
“Her trackwork has been solid, she’s got a huge appetite and I’m sure at some stage she’ll be a factor in the spring.”
The Lindsay Park team will also be represented by Petrology in the opening Group One race of the season. He will be ridden by Vlad Duric.
Petrology, the Sandown Guineas winner at the end of last spring, will have blinkers fitted to his gear.
“He had them on as a younger horse and I just think they will help him hit the line,” Hayes said.
Article from justhorseracing.com.au