Trainer Danny O’Brien has revealed that promising filly Tear Gas can earn a trip to Brisbane for the 2014 Queensland Oaks by winning the ALH Group Handicap (2000m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Tear Gas failed to fire when given an opportunity at Group level during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, finishing ninth in the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day and tenth in the Group 1 Crown Oaks (2400m) at the same venue five days later, but has performed fairly in four starts this preparation.
O’Brien included Tear Gas in the nominations for both the Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2400m) that will be run at Eagle Farm on May 31 and the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m), but the leading trainer told RSN that the daughter of High Chaparral would have to perform strongly at Caulfield on Saturday to be any chance of heading to Brisbane for a winter campaign.
“She would have to win on Saturday and show us that she is going to go up there and give a good account of herself if she is going to Queensland for the Oaks,” O’Brien said.
“If she does happen to well it means that she has had enough of a preparation to run in it and she is a filly that has shown promise.
“We will probably ride her quiet again on Saturday, particularly now that she has drawn 13, and at the end of the 2000 ridden quiet we hope that she can run it out strongly.”
Tear Gas started her autumn campaign with an unlucky fourth in the Polytrack Handicap (1400m) at Sandown on March 19 before scoring an impressive victory in the Schweppes Handicap (1700m) at the same venue on April 2.
She was beaten as an odds-on favourite when ridden close to the speed by Craig Williams in the Hayman Plate (2100m) at Sandown on April 16 and was only narrowly denied a win in the Routleys Bakery Handicap (1600m) at the same venue on April 26 after over racing in the early stages of the race.
“It was just a very slowly run race, which meant that she overdid it a bit, and she wasn’t able to pick up the leaders that had a pretty easy time,” O’Brien said.
“Hopefully there is a bit of tempo in the race on Saturday and we can see her really strike the line.”
Tear Gas is currently available at 2014 Queensland Oaks odds of $19; with Telepathic ($4.40) currently a narrow favourite from Hera ($4.80) and Arabian Gold ($5).