Romancer set for return race at Flemington

Craig Brennan
Romancer (left) is set for another winter campaign for trainer Grahame Begg

Not suited to racing on firm tracks during the warmer months, Romancer will commence a winter campaign on preferred ground in a stakes race at Flemington.

Trainer Grahame Begg has picked out Saturday's Listed Straight Six (1200m) as a suitable starting point for Romancer that the trainer hopes can lead to a successful winter and, potentially, early spring.

Connections of Romancer enjoyed a good winter campaign last year, finishing second in the Listed Winter Championship Final at Flemington, before racing competitively during the early part of the spring.

Starting his career in New Zealand, Romancer initially campaigned in Australia with disqualified trainer Darren Weir before joining Begg for his last preparation.

That campaign with Begg extended to nine runs with Romancer landing two victories, but did not finish further back than fifth in his other seven starts.

"He had a long sustained preparation last time so we gave him a good break to get over it," Begg said.

"There's not much point having him in when the tracks are too hard and this is his time of year."

Begg said Romancer had been in work for some time preparing for his return and Saturday's race was identified as the ideal starting point.

While Romancer won early in his career over 1200m in New Zealand, Begg has yet to start the gelding over the sprint course.

"It's something that I've wanted to do," Begg said.

"And it was always the intention to kick him off up the straight, while fresh, as I think the straight will suit him.

"After this we can look at the Winter Championship races coming up as he raced very well in them last year.

"He appreciates getting soft ground and I'm sure he'll get some good cut in the ground on Saturday which will be ideal for him."

Begg said Romancer had undertaken jump-outs at Sandown, down the back straight, and another on the course proper at Caulfield to have him in order for Saturday's return.

"He's had a good break and we couldn't be happier with how he's come back," Begg said.

"He's raring to go."