Barb Raider back preparing for autumn carnival

Mornington trainer Jerome Hunter still holds Group 1 aspirations for his talented filly Barb Raider but will let her decide the direction they take.

Barb Raider is back in work after a spring campaign that saw the filly successful twice in town and finish third in the Group 1 Thousand Guineas.

Hunter had been planning a Group 1 VRC Oaks assault but gave up on those thoughts following the filly’s fifth in the Wakeful Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on the opening day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

“She’s back in work,” Hunter said.

“She didn’t have that big a time off, a few weeks, but she put on some weight and she’s already back doing pace work.

“We should see her trialling in January, racing in February and we’ll see where she’s at, but I’ll take her as she comes and see what she might be capable of.”

Hunter said the Group 1 Australasian Oaks (2000m) at Morphettville in May could be a nice race for Barb Raider after holding concerns the filly may not have handled the 2500m of the VRC Oaks had she run.

He said the filly was in the paddock the day it was run.

“The day of the Wakeful, of the leading five, four of them finished in the first five and the winner came from behind them,” Hunter said.

“Some were saying being on speed didn’t suit my horse, but I doubt that was the case.

“I think a better horse and the one that beat us in the Guineas only beat us about a length that day, so I put her out on a good note as I didn’t want to flatten her.

“She had three weeks off and she thrived.

“We can go to Sydney if she takes that next step, there’s Adelaide and even Brisbane.

“We’ll see how we go. I’m not aiming for anything this time, we’ll just take it as it comes.”

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