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Romantic Maid (Michael McNab) racing away to a stylish win on debut at Avondale.

Romantic Maid (Michael McNab) racing away to a stylish win on debut at Avondale.

Track conditions will determine where the unbeaten Cambridge filly Romantic Maid steps out this weekend.

Trainer Roger James is keeping his options open with the exciting three-year-old daughter of High Chaparral. “She’ll be nominated for the mile at Auckland and for the Manawatu Classic (2000m) at Awapuni with the weather to dictate where we go,” he said.

Romantic Maid has been untested to win both her starts on good tracks at Avondale and at Te Rapa.

James is keen to get the filly, who is raced by her expatriate New Zealand breeder Judi Wanless, to the Brisbane winter carnival.

“She’s owned in Queensland and longer-term I’d like to get her to a race like the Doomben Roses,” said James. “I’ve won that a couple of times before, and possibly she could go for the Oaks over there.”

James first won the Gr. 3 Doomben Roses with Melora in 1998 then again eight years later with Gaze.

Romantic Maid’s stablemate Miss Foxwood may also head south to Awapuni for Saturday’s Listed Fairdale/Goodwood Studs’ Flying Handicap.

Meanwhile, James reports that the talented mare Tavy has suffered a setback. “I’ve had to put her out until next season,” he said.

The four-year-old was a Rating 85 winner in the spring and she also collected further black-type placings in the Listed J Swap Contractors Sprint and in the Gr. 2 Rich Hill Mile.

Zabeel filly Jessabeel is another who has been sidelined by injury after winning two of her three starts, but fellow three-year-old The Hassler could be back in action this season following a let-up after his unplaced run in the Gr. 1 New Zealand Derby.

“He may come back and have another run – a wet track would have brought him more into the Derby,” said James.

The Hassler had twice beaten older opposition on rain-affected ground in the lead-up to the Ellerslie classic.

NZ Racing Desk.