Heart hoping to come up Roses

After a luckless carnival in Sydney, Hope In Your Heart will embark on her first interstate mission in search of an elusive Group One win.

Trainer Kerry Parker confirmed the five-year-old would head to Melbourne on Wednesday in preparation for the Empire Rose Stakes (1600m) at Flemington three days later, a race for which she is a $5 favourite in pre-nomination markets.

“This will be her first trip away and that’s why I have just prepared her at home,” Parker said.

“I will send her down Wednesday night and she can have a swim Friday and race on Saturday.

“I’m really happy with how she is going, she is going better than her form reads.”

Hope In Your Heart has finished out of the placings in her last two Sydney runs but both have been in top company and full of merit.

She had no luck when trapped wide and midfield from an awkward draw in the Epsom Handicap (1600m), then stepped up to weight-for-age company in the King Charles III Stakes (1600m) she again went back from an outside gate but caught they eye weaving through the field late.

Parker has been rapt with both efforts and is keen to give her another Group 1 opportunity against her own sex.

“In the Epsom, she just had to work hard. It was a terrific effort, but an ugly watch,” Parker said.

“In the King Charles, she had to get back from the wide barrier and the firm track was against her as well, but I was really happy with the way she got to the line.”

Tim Clark, who has partnered Hope In Your Heart to half of her six career wins, has been booked for the Empire Rose Stakes ride.

Parker is keeping an open mind on plans beyond Saturday but says the Five Diamonds (1800m) at Rosehill a week later remains on the radar, as does an appearance at Flemington on Champions Day.

“It depends how she goes on Saturday whether she comes straight back home and she might still end up here in the Five Diamonds, or she will stay down there and go around the following Saturday,” he said.

Parker also confirmed stable star Think It Over had gone to the paddock after a flat run in the King Charles III but would return for an autumn campaign.

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