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Aqua D'Amore Aims At Aust Cup-Royal Ascot Bonus
Star 5YO mare Aqua D'Amore (Danehill-Romantic River, by Irish River) will target England's Royal Ascot carnival in June if she can follow-up last weekend's victory in the Gr1 Futurity Stakes (1600m) at Caulfield with another win in Saturday's $1 million weight-for-age Gr1 Darley Australian Cup (2000m) at Caulfield. The Victoria Racing Club (in partnership with Ascot Racecourse) is offering Saturday's winner the opportunity to race for a $500,000 bonus if the horse goes on to win the $875,000 Gr1 Prince of Wales's Stakes (2000m) at Royal Ascot on June 20. Coolmore Australia general manager Michael Kirwan confirmed: "This mare has done a remarkable job & Gai Waterhouse (trainer) is confident she will again perform at her peak on Saturday. She has shown a liking for Caulfield & if she wins on Saturday, there is every chance we will head to the UK with her. The opportunity to showcase her on the world stage is one we at Coolmore would welcome & this bonus makes it all the more enticing. If she wins on Saturday, we will definitely look at taking up the invitation." Aqua D'Amore (a $350,000 yearling at the 2003 Inglis Easter Sale) currently boasts 9 wins (also including the Gr2 Villiers Stakes, Gr3 Summer Cup & Gr3 Eclipse Stakes) & 11 placings (including the Gr1 Caulfield Cup, Gr1 Mackinnon Stakes, Gr1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Gr1 Turnbull Stakes, Gr1 Orr Stakes, Gr2 St George Stakes, Gr2 Chelmsford Stakes, Gr2 Hilton International Stakes & Listed Thai Airways International Classic) from 32 starts for $1,780,600 earnings.