Clarry Conners’ classy filly Dear Demi will get the chance to add another Group 1 success to her resume on June 1 in the 2013 Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Eagle Farm.
The Sydney-based three-year-old is a $4.50 favourite in the early Queensland Oaks market after a lengthy Sydney campaign.
A Crown Oaks winner in the spring, Dear Demi has been racing since February this time in and highlights have included winning the Group 2 Surround Stakes and running second in the Australian Oaks.
Second favourite is Express Power ($6) who shot into Oaks contention when scoring a dominant win in the Gold Coast Bracelet (1800m) on Saturday.
“After she ran second in the Adrian Knox the plan was always to bring her up here and aim for the Queensland Oaks and she’s taken a good step forward today,” Lees said after Saturday’s win.
“She paraded a bit fresh before the race so there’s still plenty of improvement in her before the Queensland Oaks.”
Occupying the third line of betting at $7.50 is La Zuma who has been a work in progress for trainer Michael Moroney but was strong when third in the Schweppes Oaks at Morphetville late last month.
Also under double figures are Summerbliss ($8) and Longport ($9).
Summerbliss hasn’t been able to secure a top-three finish since running third in the Crown Oaks in November while Longport was solid in a Sydney campaign.
The Patinack-owned filly was third in the Group 2 Surround Stakes and also ran a strong second to Norzita in the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes.
Other key chances in the early Queensland Oaks market include Kazanluk ($12), Waterford ($12) and Gondokoro ($14).
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