She may have run a disappointing fourth in the Wakeful Stakes last time out but Dear Demi is still on track to be a competitive force in the Crown Oaks 2012 this afternoon according to her trainer Clarry Conners.
The daughter of Dehere has been a consistent and honest filly since her debut run at Randwick back in October last year.
Highlights of her 14-start career to date include her second to Pierro in the Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) in April, her Group 2 victory in the Furious Stakes (1400m) in September and her second elite level minor placing when runner-up to Commanding Jewel in the Thousand Guineas (1600m) two starts back.
Dear Demi however could only manage to finish three lengths away fourth to the very promising Anthony Freedman-trained Zydeco last start in the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes at Flemington on November 3 which was her first look at 2000m.
This afternoon Dear Demi will face Zydeco, who she beat home in the Guineas, again when they jump the top two fancies in the $1 million Group 1 VRC Crown Oaks (2500m) at Flemington Racecourse.
Zydeco, in gate seven with Kerrin McEvoy retaining the ride, is the clear $2.10 favourite and firming in the Crown Oaks odds.
Dear Demi then occupies the second line of Crown Oaks betting at a quote of $5 after drawing gate 12 of 15 with Jim Cassidy to ride her for the third time on the trot.
While she certainly has a smart filly in Zydeco to beat, Dear Demi won’t go down without a fight according to Conners who believes the extra distance of the Oaks and the fact she meets the field on equal weights (55.5kg) having carried 56.5kg to Zydeco’s 54kg in the Wakeful will both work in her favour.
“I was disappointed with the Wakeful because I’ve been waiting a long time to get her to Flemington,” Conners said.
“The weight turnaround of two-and-a-half kilos will help and the extra distance will suit.
“I have no worries on that score.”
Conners will be vying for his third VRC Oaks success this afternoon having taken out the classic with Research (1988) and Aborea (1993), but he knows that a few things need to go Dear Demi’s way if she is to join his Crown Oaks winning contingent.
“Dear Demi is a bit more delicate than those two were,” Conners said.
“And she has drawn wide again. She has had no luck with barriers and will need a good ride from Jimmy.”
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