Romantic Proposal completed the transition from 68-rated handicapper to Group 1 winner today, landing the Curragh's Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes for trainer Eddie Lynam, owners Clipper Logistics Group Ltd and jockey Chris Hayes.
The daughter of Raven's Pass won a Cork maiden when rated just 68 in September 2019 and having picked up two handicaps and a Listed race in the interim, today quickened well under Hayes to beat A Case Of You by half a length.
Following the race Lynam addressed riding arrangements, saying “I was asked if Chris (Hayes) could have been jocked off for the ride the last day but they put rubbers on pencils because everyone makes mistakes!
“He was good on her and today was the day that matters.”
The pair had previously won the 2015 renewal, when classified a Group 2, with Sole Power and Lynam, nicknamed 'Fast Eddie' due to his ability with sprinters, added “she's (Romantic Proposal) just kept improving.
“Steve Parkin and Joe Foley (owners) let me do what I want and are very easy to train for. My daughter Amy bought her as a foal (for €25,000) and bought Soffia as a foal so you won’t see me down to buy many at the sales in future!
“I always believe an improving filly like her was capable of running a big race and she did everything great. It’s six years since I had a Group 1 winner - I had gone 30 years without having one and didn’t know what they were like but when you get a bit of a taste for it you want more.
“I only have 30 horses and Sarah (daughter) has 11. We have a smaller team but I’m happy and I’m not looking for 100 horses. I’d just like the good ones to be honest but they are hard to come by. We are still passionate about it.
“It’s a small world as I trained the dam of the second, Karjera.”
“I would have thought she’d go next for the Abbaye (in Longchamp).”
Jockey Hayes said "to say I gave it a bad ride the last day would be an understatement. I rode her with too much confidence on ground which was quick the last day and I met a wall of horses and had to switch.”
He added “today was different but Eddie said to leave her go forward and she loved it. I still got there too soon.
"At the start of the year Eddie (Lynam) asked me to come up riding out one day a week but I didn't think I'd get a Group 1 winner out of it. I'm delighted for connections who have been so good to keep me on her.
“It was late Mum's birthday yesterday and she is definitely with me there and I'm absolutely over the moon.”