A disastrous trip to Ellerslie has resulted in Roger James sending Romantic Maid to Australia earlier than anticipated.
The Cambridge trainer had been hoping to bank a major slice of the purse in the Gr.2 Champion Stakes to ensure the High Chaparral filly’s place in next month’s Gr.1 Queensland Oaks.
However, Romantic Maid’s prospects were extinguished soon after barrier rise when she parted company with jockey Danielle Johnson.
“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.”
As a consequence, Romantic Maid was on a plane to Sydney on Wednesday with the intent of pressing her Group One claims for Brisbane in a Benchmark Handicap over 1900 metres at Rosehill on Saturday.
“She has had one trip away of five hours in a float so I'm hoping she copes well with the travel,” James said.
She will be ridden by Singapore-based Australian jockey Michael Rodd, who has secured mounts in seven of the nine races.
Romantic Maid won her first two starts in impressive fashion and prior to Ellerslie she had finished strongly for fourth at Pukekohe behind her stablemate and subsequent Championship Stakes winner The Hassler.
- NZ Racing Desk