Kris Lees-trained Hera has been included in the first acceptances for the 2014 Queensland Oaks, despite failing to fire in the Group 2 The Roses (2000m) at Doomben on Saturday.
Hera was well-backed in the lead-up to The Roses and travelled strongly in the race, but failed to show her usual acceleration in the final stages of the event and finished a disappointing eighth behind Arabian Gold.
Lees suggested after The Roses that Hera would be sent to the spelling paddock, but told Sky Racing HQ this morning that he had included the O’Reilly filly in the acceptances for the Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2400m) and said that he will wait until next week before deciding whether to run the three-year-old in the Group 1 event.
“Initially we were pretty disappointed in the run and that probably hasn’t changed,” Lees said.
“She is only three once and we are going to pay the late acceptance today, but we are far from making a decision and we will wait until we see how she works on Saturday and then possibly Tuesday before we make that final decision.
“She looks pretty well for her and we are happy enough with the way that she has come through the run, but realistically she would have to turn it around to match it with favourite the way that it put her away on Saturday.
“I think that Jimmy (Cassidy) was a little disappointed in her run and for mind she still travelled a bit keen.
“She has ate up well post-race and is a really tough little filly and that is one thing that she has on her side.”
There were no major surprises in the 2014 Queensland Oaks first acceptances that were released this morning and David Vandyke-trained Arabian Gold remains a clear favourite to take out the Group 1 event after scoring an impressive victory in The Roses last weekend.
Telepathic was included in the first acceptances for the race and is on the second line of betting, but is unlikely to contest the race after trainer Donna Logan revealed yesterday that the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 7 is the major winter target for the promising filly.
The Tony Pike-trained duo of Rock Diva and Sancerre remain in contention for the Queensland Oaks and leading Australian hoop Tommy Berry is set to return from Hong Kong to ride Rock Diva in the race.