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Romantic Maid Books Queensland Trip
Promising Kiwi filly Romantic Maid (High Chaparral-Returntosender, by Elusive City) took another step towards qualifying for next month's Queensland Oaks when winning a benchmark 70 over 2000 metres at Randwick yesterday. The High Chaparral filly's winter carnival plans were thrown up in the air when she lost her rider Danielle Johnson in the Gr2 Championship Stakes at Ellerslie earlier this month. Trainer Roger James had been hoping to use the race to secure some much needed prize money to help qualify Romantic Maid for the Oaks, but the Cambridge horseman was forced to rethink her programme and decided a detour to Sydney would be the best option. After a disappointing performance on her Australian debut at Rosehill, James decided to give Romantic Maid one more chance to press her Gr1 claims and she came through with flying colours. "It's what you want to see when you bring them this far," James told Sky Racing. "She went around without a rider the start before Rosehill and Michael Rodd said she felt a little bit uncertain so that's why I decided to put on the blinkers." He added: "I've always had a good opinion of her. I think she has probably sealed a trip to the Queensland Oaks on that run...she deserves an opportunity in a race like that." Romantic Maid is out the Gr2 winner Returntosender, who incidentally finished 10th behind Purple in the 2009 edition of the Queensland Oaks. The 2016 renewal of the Gr1 Queensland Oaks (2200m) will be run at Eagle Farm on 4th June.