Conners no concerns Dear Demi to back up in Queensland Oaks

Sydney trainer Clarry Conners has no concerns with Dear Demi heading for her third tough run in as many weeks when she backs up in the Group 1 $400,000 XXXX Gold Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

dear demi

Dear Demi and Gondokoro (green cap) fight out the finish in the The Roses at Doomben. Photo by Daniel Costello.

Dear Demi was having her first run for a month when she scored narrowly from Gondokoro in the Group 3 $175,000 Hidden Dragon The Roses (2000m) at Doomben on May 18.

After jumping from the outside barrier in the sixteen horses field, jockey Luke Nolen had no option than bring the backmarker wide at the 800m to make ground with the filly responding with a gutsy win.

Another wide alley last Saturday at Doomben saw Dead Demi have another tough run and struggled to make ground in the straight to finish sixth to Hawkspur in the Group 3 $150,000 Mullins Lawyers Grand Prix Stakes (2200m).

But Conners is adamant that the Dehere filly had to have two runs leading up to the Oaks and was happy with her effort.

“She raced a bit dour, so that is going to suit her going to the Oaks next week,” Connors said.

“I thought she went nice in the Grand Prix.”

Connors also pointed out that Dear Demi was an unlucky fourth in the Group 2 $300,000 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) on Derby Day last Spring before winning the Group 1 $1m Crown Oaks (2500m) at Flemington five days later.

“She got beaten in the Wakeful Stakes last Spring when she should have won and then came out five days later and won the Oaks,” Connors said.

“I’ve got no concerns at all about the quick back-up and she loves it.”

“If I didn’t run her on Saturday in the Grand Prix then she would have only had one run in six weeks going into the Oaks.”

“The Roses was her first run in a month and people don’t realise that.

“I had to run her twice before the Oaks.”

Mornington trainer Pat Carey is hoping to reverse The Roses results and expects his filly Gondokoro to be very hard to beat on the bigger Eagle Farm track in the Oaks.

“The bigger track at Eagle Farm suits horses like her with a big finish,” Carey said.

“There’s not much between them and while Dear Demi’s got the score on the board and I respect that, you could make an argument for beating her home the last two times.”

Dear Demi has beaten Gondokoro home at their last two meetings in The Roses and the Group 1 $550,000 Patinack Farm Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick on April 20 when the fillies finished second and third behind the Chris Waller trained Royal Descent.

Queensland Oaks markets see very little between the two fillies with Dear Demi holding a slight advantage at $3.40, just ahead of Gondokoro at $3.50.

The Peter Moody trained Miss Zenella is next in the betting at $12 after scoring by more than three lengths over 1700m at Sale with The Roses’ third placegetter Vaquera at $13.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.

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