Big race jockey Jim Cassidy is prepared to forgive Dear Demi one bad run and expects the Crown Oaks winner to redeem herself in the Group 1 $400,000 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill tomorrow.
Cassidy could offer no excuses for Dear Demi’s failure in the Group 1 $600,000 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill two weeks ago but back against the three year olds the Clarry Conners trained filly gets her chance to return to the form that saw her win the Group 2 $175,000 Surround Stakes (1400m) at Warwick Farm on March 9.
“On face value she was disappointing. Back against the fillies and at 2000m hopefully she is back to her best,” Cassidy said.
Dear Demi never put herself into the race at any stage in the Coolmore and her finishing burst was missing, and she failed to make up any ground in the straight to finish eleventh.
“She was out of her comfort zone, and was back and she never really tracked into it at all,” Cassidy said.
“I couldn’t pick anything amiss with her myself, she was just too far back and didn’t get a chance to get into it.”
The extra distance of the Vinery Stud Stakes won’t be problem for Dear Demi after winning the Group 1 $1m Crown Oaks over 2500m at Flemington in the Spring while favourite Norzita is stepping up to the 2000m for the first time.
Norzita was beaten a nose and a nose when third to Appearance in the Coolmore Classic and the Bart Cummings trained filly is ready to tackle a middle distance.
“She’s rock hard fit, she’s been through a very stringent program and will be lining up one hundred percent,” said James Cummings, foreman for his famous grandfather.
“I don’t think she is going to fall short of the 2000m by any means.”
“She’s going through the Bart program, she’s going to have every opportunity to run it out strongly.”
Market framers agree with Cummings and have enlisted Norzita the $2.80 favourite ahead of New Zealand Derby winner Habibi at $4.60 and Dear Demi at $5.