Trainer Clarry Conners is confident in a standout campaign for talented stayer Dear Demi through the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival after the five-year-old completed an impressive barrier trial at Hawkesbury on Monday morning.
Jumping from the gates well, jockey James McDonald settled Dear Demi in prime position on the heels of the trial’s early leaders, finding a clear racing line upon reaching the final straight and comfortably pulling clear to finish close to a length in the green.
Understandably pleased with the trial performance produced by the Dehere mare, Conners told TVN he believes Dear Demi is on track for a memorable spring preparation, which is likely to include an appearance in the Group 2 Stocks Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 26th.
“I was tickled pink with her trial,” Conners said.
“She’s come back much sharper this preparation, which is nice. James McDonald said it’s the best she’s ever felt.
“I hope he’s right, but I think he’s on the right track. I’ve been very happy with her. When she spelled this time the people at Strawberry Hill purposefully kept weight off her.”
A notable performer in major spring events, Dear Demi won the Group 2 Furious Stakes (1400m) early in the 2012 edition of the carnival and continued to build in class and form via third in the Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) and second in the Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) before breaking through for a maiden victory at the highest level of Australian racing in the Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m).
Returning in 2013 for similarly impressive campaign, the mare out of Shirley finished third in both the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) and Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) and finished a close second in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m), but had clearly had enough when fading to finish a disappointing 19th in the Melbourne Cup.
Eyeing the Group 3 Toy Show Quality (1300m) at Royal Randwick on August 23rd as the first point of call this season, Conners outlined the Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) at Flemington and the Stocks Stakes to figure on Dear Demi’s way to the 2014 Caulfield Cup.
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