Knockout blow from Hera

A family that has made its mark at the top level on both sides of the Tasman packed a Boxing Day punch for WS. Matamata farm graduate Hera posted another black type success at Ellerslie when she took top honours in the Gr.2 Eight Carat Classic.

A $28,000 Select Sale purchase for trainer Roger James in 2012, the daughter of O’Reilly was too good for the Gr.1 NZ 1000 Guineas winner Hera in the fillies’ feature. Hera’s victory further highlighted the highs and lows of racing with apprentice Michael Dee taking the winning rider at the expense of visiting Australian jockey Josh Adams, who was laid low with pneumonia.

“It’s a huge moment as it was a pick-up ride and I’m thankful to Mr James and the owners for having faith in me,” Dee said. “It was a gutsy effort as she gave me plenty when the favourite headed me and I think on that effort she might get over more ground.”

Successful in the Listed Great Northern Foal Stakes last season, Hera has now won four of her nine starts for Wellington owners Ron and Fran Dixon. She is from the Group one family of Polanski (VRC Derby),Ballroom Babe (Ellerslie and Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes) and Dandy Andy (Australian Cup, Doomben Cup).

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