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 Australian Racing News 
Saturday, July 18 2020

Romancer (NZ) (Redwood) found his best form to cause an upset in Saturday’s James Dunbar’s Flemington Inn (1600m) and in doing so, book a potential spring campaign.

Romancer returned to form to win at Flemington on Saturday. Photo: Brett Holburt/Racing Photos

Trainer Grahame Begg explained Romancer was the type of horse that did not appreciate doing too much work early so from his inside gate (barrier two) and with apprentice Teo Nugent settling him perfectly just off the speed, Begg knew he was going to turn his form around.

Romancer has now won about A$475,000 in prizemoney from 38 runs and is at the stage of his career where Begg figures he could mix it with the better spring gallopers.

“We might back off him a little bit,” Begg said.

“His (handicap) rating is up a bit so I think he probably deserves to have a crack at something later on but as I said he loves Flemington and his form is really good.

“We might back off him and have another crack going into September and October.”

Romancer, a $12 chance with BetEasy, enjoyed a soft trailing run and dashed clear inside the 200-metre mark before holding off the $4.20 favourite Orderofthegarter (Galileo), who ran bravely at just his second start in three years with a neck to another import Dabiyr (Redoute’s Choice).

Begg explained that while consistent, Romancer excels when allowed to find his feet early.

“He’s the sort of horse that doesn’t like having to do a bit of work in the early stages of his races,’’ he said.

“He jumps so well and got worn out at the last couple of starts. He’s had to do that bit of work. I reckon he’s more of a 1500 metres horse. It just sucks that bit of finish off him.

“Today, with the soft draw, he was able to take a good soft run in the early stages. It was a great ride, held Sircconi out three wide, got a beautiful run. The pace was good for him and the split came at the right time.

“He let down really well. He’s been an honest horse for the stable. He’s a pleasure to train and it’s great to be able to train a winner for the OTI group. The staff down at Pinecliff have done a terrific job.”

Romancer began his career in New Zealand, winning four times for the training partnership of Donna Logan and Chris Gibbs including the Listed Mufhasa Stakes (1300m). He initially campaigned in Australia with disqualified trainer Darren Weir before joining Begg in the early part of 2019. 

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