Royal Applause chasing fourth-straight winWednesday 3 January 2018
The Symon Wilde-trained Royal Applause will be kept to racing against her own sex when she bids for her fourth-straight win.
Wilde had Royal Applause nominated for three races at Sunday's Caulfield meeting and has accepted with the five-year-old in the Maree Madden-Melder Handicap (1800m) for fillies and mares.
Apprentice Liam Riordan will offset the mare's 60.5kg in the benchmark-78 race with his three-kilogram claim.
Royal Applause's recent wins have included back-to-back victories at Moonee Valley.
Her narrow last-start win on December 23 in mares' benchmark-84 grade was her first Saturday city success.
"We always thought she would get to city level, but probably not winning on a Saturday," Wilde said.
"That was a nice surprise.
"But mares in form, sometimes they can just hold it."
Royal Applause's previous preparation included four seconds in town. Earlier this campaign the trainer dropped Royal Applause back to a benchmark-58 at Stawell in late October in a bid to get her a confidence-boosting victory.
After that win the five-year-old finished fifth in a Moonee Valley race before stringing three wins together, one at Ballarat before two at Moonee Valley.
"We thought she could come back this preparation and win a city race, but she's done a really good job," Wilde said.
"We had to go right back to a benchmark-58 to get her in form and then she's just climbed the ladder.
"She won a Moonee Valley Friday night race well, and then to go to a $100,000 race and win last start, it was really pleasing."
Wilde, who has stables at Warrnambool and Ballarat, said Royal Applause had come through her latest win well after being taken back to his Warrnambool base.
"She had been up in the Ballarat stables for those two (Moonee Valley) wins then we brought her home straight after Moonee Valley the second time," he said.
"She's been at the beach and been around our sand track at home."
He said the mare had her first gallop since her last win at Terang on Tuesday morning and worked well.
"So she seems to be ticking over really nicely," Wilde said.
The Caulfield meeting was initially scheduled for Saturday but was moved to Sunday because of the forecast for extreme heat in Melbourne.