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James romanticises over idea of second Oaks win
03 Jun 2016

Cambridge trainer Roger James has no idea how Romantic Maid might handle a wet track for Saturday's Gr.1 Queensland Oaks but can list few other negatives for the progressive High Chaparral filly.

 

Romantic Maid arrived in Brisbane earlier this week after a last-start Randwick Rating 70 win clinched her a spot in the three-year-old fillies Classic at Eagle Farm.

 

She has now won three of her six starts and goes into the Oaks (2400m) in peak order, according to her conditioner.

 

"Her work has been rock-solid. She's ready to run a big race," James said.

 

"She's just thriving over here. I was very mindful that this was her first preparation and she's done a bit of travelling but she's handling it like a seasoned pro.

 

"She took two or three days to settle into her routine in Sydney but she's arrived in Brisbane and just hasn't missed a beat."

 

Track conditions at Eagle Farm were listed as a good 4 on Thursday but significant rainfall is predicted in the area which could lead to testing going for runners on Saturday.

 

"It's a bit of a risk having a Group One race meeting here as the first meeting since the track reconstruction," said James, who won the Oaks in 2000 with Giovana and produced Melora for a third placing two years earlier.

 

"They are forecasting rain and even when Romantic Maid had a run along here the other day there was a bit of kickback. I've really got no idea how she would handle it if the track did become rain-affected.

 

"But other than that there's nothing really against her. It's a good field but I'm pretty happy to have her and she'll be right in the mix."

 

Bred and raced by Judi Wanless, Romantic Maid would spell win, lose or draw after Saturday's race, James said.

 

"She's done everything we've asked of her for a first preparation. She'll only improve with experience and age, so from that standpoint, she's got it all ahead of her." 

 

Australian bookmakers have Romantic Maid as a $7 equal favourite for the Oaks, while their Kiwi counterparts have her a $7 second favourite behind Falkenberg. - NZ Racing Desk