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Queensland Oaks hopeful Romantic Maid is in danger of missing a start in a Group Three race in Brisbane and could instead run in a midweek benchmark race at Randwick.

New Zealand trainer Roger James has accepted with the filly on Wednesday as insurance against her failing to make the field for Saturday’s Doomben Roses, the winner of which gains an automatic Oaks start.

With prize money determining the order for the Roses, only four of the 29 fillies nominated on Monday earned less than Romantic Maid.

The Roses has a field limit of 16 with five emergencies.

The trainer had hoped to boost the filly’s chances in a race at Rosehill last Saturday week in which she ran third.

She will wear blinkers at her next start.

“I was satisfied, but I thought she might have done better,” James said.

“Michael Rodd felt she was very much in need of blinkers.

“We haven’t had that feedback before, but it might be as a result of what happened when she clipped heels at Ellerslie.”

Romantic Maid stayed on her feet in the incident in a Group Two race at Ellerslie but lost her rider Danielle Johnson.

James should have less trouble getting The Hassler to the Queensland Derby on June 11, a week after the Oaks.

The last-start winner of the Group Two Championship Stakes (2100m) at Ellerslie on April 23, The Hassler will run in the Grand Prix Stakes on Saturday week.

“It’s two weeks from the Grand Prix Stakes to the Derby. I didn’t think we needed to rush over there and take in the Rough Habit Plate and the Grand Prix Stakes before the Derby,” James said.

“The Grand Prix fits well and he’s done enough here.”

The Hassler has won his past two starts since finishing midfield in the NZ Derby on March 5 and is a $26 chance in Derby markets.

 
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