Lees Expecting Hera To Be Strong Late

By: Thomas Hackett
May 16th, 2014

Trainer Kris Lees is expecting Hera to be strong late when she steps-up to 2000 metres for the 2014 The Roses at Doomben on Saturday.

Hera finished fourth behind Estonian Princess in her Australian racing debut in the Carr Stakes.

Hera finished fourth behind Estonian Princess in her Australian racing debut in the Carr Stakes. Photo by: Steve Hart

Hera made her Australian racing debut in the Group 3 Carr Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on April 26, after scoring two wins at Group 2 level in New Zealand, and battled on bravely to finish fourth after being caught wide in the early stages of the race.

Lees told Racing Ahead that he was impressed with the tough effort of Hera in the Carr Stakes and said that the O’Reilly filly had come out of the race in good condition and impressed with a strong performance in a jump out last Friday ahead of The Roses this weekend.

“She had 58 kilos, she raced without cover the whole way and she was still there,” Lees said of Hera’s run in the Carr Stakes.

“The good thing about it was that she was still strong through the line even though at one stage I thought she was going to run sixth or seventh.

“That shows that she has a lot of ticker about her and I think that she will equip herself pretty well.

“I think she will be very strong late, she is a tough little filly.”

Hera has been included in the nominations for Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Eagle Farm on May 31, but Lees admits that the promising filly is no certainty to run out a strong 2400 metres.

The three-year-old won the Group 2 Sir Tristram Fillies Classic over 2000 metres when she was trained by Roger James in New Zealand, but Lees believes that she will need to learn how to settle in her races in order to run out the Queensland Oaks trip.

“It is questionable due to her pattern of racing, she needs to settle this week to be in the right frame of mind to run the 2400 two weeks later,” Lees said.

“When you really get into her pedigree, she is closely related to Polanski and Dandy Andy and a few of them more stoutly sort of horses.

“You are always looking for reasons, but there is a question mark no doubt.

“If she is ever going to do it, it will be as a three-year-old filly late in the season.”

Hera is currently available at 2014 The Roses odds of $4; with talented filly Arabian Gold still a clear favourite at a quote of $2.20.

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