RACING Queensland has reached an agreement regarding the late entry fee for the connections of three prominent Doomben Cup prospects which were not declared first acceptors yesterday.

Trainers Darren Weir (Akzar), Ciaron Maher (Mr O’Ceirin) and Gerald Ryan (Angel of Mercy) all missed the 9am deadline for declaration of first acceptors for the $500,000 Cup.

Under Doomben Cup conditions connections would have to lodge a $23,100 late entry fee for re-inclusion in the field, but RQ CEO Darren Condon said the decision was made to halve the fee “due to unusual circumstances”.

“We believe it is a common sense decision for the benefit of the race,’’ Mr Condon said.

“There was obviously some confusion about the deadline as evidenced by the fact three professional trainers overlooked the timing.

“These horses have been specifically set for the Doomben Cup and their inclusion in the field will enhance the race as an attraction to racing fans and punters.

“The Doomben Cup now is sure to be one of the best betting races of the carnival. It will be a genuine Group 1 contest and there still is a significant penalty for the trainers who missed the deadline.’’

The compromise position was welcomed by Weir.

“It’s a very ordinary feeling when you first hear one of your horses is not still in the race. I thank RQ for their consideration of the circumstances. It’s a good outcome,’’ Weir said.

Brisbane Racing Club chairman Neville Bell complimented RQL’s swift and positive response.

“It’s a great example of the way racing has to be flexible when unusual circumstances arrive. I’m sure everyone who loves racing will see this in a positive light,’’ Bell said.

“As a race club we want the best possible horses to compete in our Group 1 events. The connections take a hefty penalty but now will have the opportunity to chase big prize money. And the punters will love having the best horses in action.’’

Weir and Maher were happy to pay the late fee immediately but Ryan said he would wait until early next week to decide if Angel of Mercy would be declared an acceptor or be saved for the shorter Lord Mayor’s Cup a week later.