2012 Crown Oaks winner Dear Demi has begun her preparations for the 2013 Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival that is set to be highlighted by runs in the Caulfield Cup (2400m) and Melbourne Cup (3200m).
Dear Demi has been back in work for just over a fortnight and according to trainer Clarry Connors is working towards a return to the races in the Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on September 7.
After her first-up run she is expected to contest the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 21st and the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 5th before her Spring Racing Carnival ‘grand finals’ in the Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup.
Conners said he has been impressed with the rising four-year-old since she returned to trackwork at his Warwick Farm-based stable.
“She has been back in work for a bit over a fortnight and she looks in good order,” Conners told Racing Victoria.
“I’m very happy with how she’s done during her break.”
Dear Demi had a lengthy autumn and winter campaign that was highlighted by victories in the Group 2 Surround Stakes (1400m) at Warwick Farm and the Group 3 The Roses (2000m) at Doomben.
However, she failed to find her best form over 2400 metres, finishing ten lengths behind Royal Descent in the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) and seventh behind Gondokoro in the Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2400m), in what was her last race before being sent to the spelling paddock.
The daughter of Deher will have to defy recent history to win either of the major cups this spring.
No mare has won the Melbourne Cup the year after winning the Crown Oaks since Bart Cummings-trained Light Fingers in 1965 while no Crown Oaks winner has ever gone on to win the Caulfield Cup the following year, although Sweet Nell managed to win both races in 1903.