Oaks Or Derby Dilemma For Fillydelphia

By: Sarah Fortnum
May 25th, 2011

Robert Heathcote is yet to decide whether to send his talented filly Fillydelphia to the Queensland Oaks on June 4 or the Queensland Derby on June 11.

The trainer is considering paying the late entry fee for the Queensland Derby at Eagle Farm should Fillydelphia win the group 3 Grand Prix Stakes at Doomben this Saturday.

The Derby has become the favourable option for Fillydelphia after future Oaks contender Scarlett Lady posted a dominant victory in The Roses last weekend.

Larry Cassidy

Fillydelphia's regular jockey Larry Cassidy

“I was very impressed with Scarlett Lady when she won The Roses on Saturday and I think the fillies have it over the boys this year,” Heathcote said.

“If that’s the case then it’s going to be hard to beat Scarlett Lady in the Queensland Oaks.”

A decision will have to be made by Heathcote as he does not want the filly running in both races.

“She couldn’t run in both the Oaks and the Derby as it’d be three weeks in a row she would have raced,” he said.

“The Oaks looks like being a tougher race than the Derby.”

Heathcote has booked Fillydelphia’s regular jockey Larry Cassidy to ride her in this weekend’s Grand Prix Stakes, after the trainer took him off in favour of Luke Nolen last start.

“Larry has won on her four times and will be back on her in the Grand Prix,” Heathcote said.

“It was a tough decision to take Larry off her last start but I only did it as a means of looking to change our luck.”

The three-year-old filly gas won five of her 14 starts, including the Group 3 Rough Habit Plate on May 14.

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