Trainer Clarry Connors is delighted with the condition of Dear Demi heading into the 2013 Melbourne Cup but will give the Caulfield Cup placegetter a final lead-up run in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Dear Demi had a slightly disappointing autumn campaign, after winning the Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) last spring, but has returned to her best form during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival; producing a number of strong performances at Group 1 level.
The Dehere mare started her campaign with a seventh place finish behind Commanding Jewel in the Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) before producing a tough on-pace effort when she finished third behind It’s A Dundeel and Atlantic Jewel in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m).
She had no luck when eighth in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) but was given a brilliant ride from an outside gate in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) by jockey James McDonald to finish a most impressive third.
Connors told Through Media that Dear Demi had come out of the Caulfield Cup in excellent condition and confirmed that the four-year-old would press on to the Mackinnon Stakes on Saturday and the 2013 Melbourne Cup next Tuesday.
“She ran terrific in the Caulfield Cup from the bad barrier,” Connors said.
“She just keeps giving all the time this little mare and she has done great since.
“The Mackinnon is going to be a hard race but she will run very well.
“I’m going to back her up in the Cup after that.”
Connors will follow the tried and true method, pioneered by legendary trainer Bart Cummings, of running a Melbourne Cup contender on Victoria Derby Day and believes that Dear Demi needs the run over 2000 metres to get her fully fit for her maiden attempt over 3200 metres.
“It is to get her fit,” Connors said of the decision to run Dear Demi in the MacKinnon Stakes.
“If I didn’t race her I would have to gallop her that morning over a long distance anyhow so why not go in the $1 million race.
“She is just ticking over lovely.
“The Melbourne Cup is her main aim and I just hope that I have got her 100 percent on the day.”
Leading Brisbane jockey Chris Munce has been booked to ride Dear Demi in both the Mackinnon Stakes and the 2013 Melbourne Cup and has been passed fit after suffering a health scare while riding Runaway Angle at Eagle Farm on Saturday.