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James Romanticises About Second Oaks Success
Meanwhile, Cambridge trainer Roger James has no idea how Romantic Maid (High Chaparral-Returntosender, by Elusive City) will handle a wet track in tomorrow's Gr1 Queensland Oaks but can list few other negatives for the progressive High Chaparral filly, reports NZ Racing Desk. Romantic Maid arrived in Brisbane earlier this week after a last-start win in a benchmark 70 over 2000 metres at Randwick which secured her spot in the 3YO fillies winter classic at Eagle Farm. She has now won three of her six starts and goes into the Oaks in peak condition, according to James. "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." James added: "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 ground for horses tomorrow. "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." He added: "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 will 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." Romantic Maid is out the Gr2 winner Returntosender, who incidentally finished 10th behind Purple in the 2009 edition of the Queensland Oaks.