The suspension of Nash Rawiller was a blessing for veteran hoop Jim Cassidy who was given the chance to atone for his Derby Day shocker riding the Clarry Conners-trained Dear Demi to a sensational win in the 2012 Crown Oaks – his fifth victory in the three-year-old fillies’ classic.
Cassidy failed to get the daughter of Dehere home well in Saturday’s Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) when she finished an unlucky three lengths away fourth to today’s Crown Oaks favourite Zydeco.
Owner John Singleton was furious with the ride and ready to sack Cassidy in favour of Rawiller, but the suspension of the latter saw Cassidy reinstated and given his chance with Dear Demi again in the $1 million Group 1 VRC Crown Oaks (2500m) at Flemington.
“I told Cassidy ‘just to be clear you only have the ride because Rawiller’s suspended,” Singleton said on Thursday.
“We stuck with Jimmy because surely he couldn’t ride her that badly twice.”
Forty-nine-year-old Cassidy did everything right in the Oaks however giving the winner a perfectly timed ride, Dear Demi scoring her first Group 1 win from four attempts and Cassidy making it a quintet in the Crown Oaks with his first winner since Weekend Delight back in 1990.
There was a good deal of speed early in the Crown Oaks with eventual 10th placed Tyanna setting the pace in the opening stages.
Dear Demi meanwhile settled right back third last ridden quietly from her wide barrier 12 draw.
With 1600m left to go Ireland’s Teardrop worked around the field to take over the running with the likes of Finnnegan Beginegan, Gondokoro and Transonic all up on the pace.
The tempo remained very steady and with 1000m to go Dear Demi was still well back.
On the turn for home Gonndokoro went in front a long way out while the favourite Zydeco, ridden by Kerrin McEvoy, went to the outside.
Dear Demi sat just on the back of Zydeco, Cassidy biding his time before hitting the button and coming with a late run letting some of the others break early.
The two top fancies then battled it out making their runs down the outside in a stride for stride war but it was the more seasoned of the two that got there in the end.
Looking to be tiring about 100m out, Cassidy asked Dear Demi ($5) to go again and go she did scoring a one and a quarter victory over Zydeco ($2.40F) while the lightly-raced Summerbliss ($9) finished off the winning Crown Oaks trifecta so the three favourites finished 1-2-3 – just not in the bookies’ order.
It was a nice performance from the Michael Kent-trained Summerbliss to finish third in the Oaks at just her third career start, the Danehill Dancer filly on track for better things next season.
Cassidy was thrilled with the winner effort of Dear Demi already declaring her a chance for the 2013 Caulfield Cup.
“The 2500-metres, a lot of them were a query at the trip,” he said.
“We were really unlucky in the Wakeful and it really topped her off for today.
“She could be seen as the Caulfield Cup winner next year.”
Conners was also over the moon with the well-earned win, things finally going in his filly’s favour.
“Finally she has (had some luck),” he said.
“As we keep saying she’s been there the last prep and a half.
“She’s had bad luck at her last four starts
“But she keeps trying, her heart is as big as you could imagine.
“It was a really gutsy effort today.
“She’s a lovely filly, she just keeps getting better.
“Timing was perfect…everything was right.
“It’s also my wife’s birthday today, so very special.”
It was also a special result for Singleton who celebrates his own birthday tomorrow.
“Bad luck stories, held up held up all she wanted was Flemington and when she got it,” Singleton said.
“It’s been a long time for Clarry and I since the last Oaks.”
See below for the full 2012 Crown Oaks results and finishing order.
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2012 Crown Oaks Result & Finishing Order
Flemington Race 6 – 08/11/2012
|1||1||DEAR DEMI||Clarry Conners||Jim Cassidy||–||12||55.5kg||$5|
|2||2||ZYDECO||Anthony Freedman||Kerrin McEvoy||1.25L||7||55.5kg||$2.40F|
|3||8||SUMMERBLISS||Michael Kent||Craig Williams||3L||1||55.5kg||$9|
|4||6||MARAATIB||David Hayes||Michael Walker||6L||3||55.5kg||$15|
|5||4||ALZORA||David Hayes||Nicholas Hall||6.1L||5||55.5kg||$14|
|6||5||TRANSONIC||John P Thompson||Mark Zahra||6.6L||6||55.5kg||$31|
|7||14||GONDOKORO (NZ)||Pat Carey||Rhys McLeod||7.35L||8||55.5kg||$51|
|8||13||TEN BLACK||Matthew Hyland||Luke Nolen||7.75L||10||55.5kg||$81|
|9||12||ZUCCOTTO||Guy Walter||Hugh Bowman||11L||4||55.5kg||$21|
|10||10||TYANNA||Robbie Griffiths||Michael Rodd||19L||11||55.5kg||$31|
|11||11||LA ZUMA||Michael Moroney||Corey Brown||23L||9||55.5kg||$14|
|12||9||KATE (NZ)||Wayne Hillis||James McDonald||23.3L||14||55.5kg||$51|
|13||7||IRELAND’S TEARDROP||Anthony Cummings||Vlad Duric||24.55L||13||55.5kg||$51|
|14||3||MAMA’S CHOICE||David Hayes||Damien Oliver||26.8L||2||55.5kg||$41|
|15||15||FINNEGAN BEGINEGAN||Paul Banks||Craig Newitt||61.8L||15||55.5kg||$201|