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Trainer Clarry Connors will back up today’s Randwick winner Dear Demi in the Group 1 $400,000 Champagne Stakes (1600m) next week.

Dear Demi

Dear Demi will go next to the Group 1 Champagne Stakes after winning the Fernhill Handicap - photo (c) Steve Hart

Conners has been waiting to test Dear Demi over 1600m and got the right result when she took out the Listed $100,000 Medina Apartment Hotels Fernhill Handicap (1600m) after being headed half way down the straight.

Top New Zealand jockey James McDonald made his move at the top of the straight and challenged the leaders shortly after.

With five runners stretched across the track at the 200m, Dear Demi looked in trouble when headed by Trophies but under hard riding from McDonald fought back to win by a long neck.

Conners will back the filly up next week over 1600m again but said she will be better suited over 2000m or further next season.

“She’s  a pretty good filly and I keep saying it. We’ve had no real luck with her, with little things gone wrong and I just think she’s a lovely staying filly. I can’t wait to next season, I think she’s going to be a lovely filly and probably get over 2000m or further,” Conners said.

“But we’ve still got Saturday to go, that’s the main aim of this prep.”

Conners is very upbeat about Dear Demi’s future and with further maturity and the knowledge that she will be able to handle distance at 1600m and over, a nice race could be in the mix.

McDonald, who was having his second ride on Dear Demi after finishing second over 1400m at Rosehill on her said she really appreciated the extra distance of today’s race.

“She definitely got headed and full credit to the filly she fought really hard and she’s came away with a well deserved win,” McDonald said.

“I hadn’t even really gone for her until the last furlong. Having a ride on her last start I learnt a lot from her. She really found the last furlong and the extra furlong today was definitely going to help.”

“She’s a tough filly and the mile definitely suits her cause she just grinds away.”

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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