Clarry Conners’ filly Dear Demi has finally come up with a good barrier draw and will start from gate three in Saturday’s Group 1 $400,000 XXXX Gold Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Eagle Farm.
Dear Demi has been burdened with horror draws in her two Brisbane Winter Carnival runs to date and will appreciate being closer to inside fence than the outside this week.
But the outside gate of sixteen didn’t stop the Crown Oaks winner from scoring a narrow win over Gondokoro in the Group 3 $175,000 Hidden Dragon The Roses (2000m) at Doomben on May 18.
Then Dear Demi had another tough run after jumping from gate thirteen when sixth to Hawkspur in the Group 3 $150,000 Mullins Lawyers Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) at Doomben last weekend.
Connors wasn’t disappointed with her Grand Prix run and has no worries about the Dehere filly lining up for her third run in as many weeks.
“I thought she went nice in the Grand Prix,” Connors said.
“She raced a bit dour, so that is going to suit her going to the Oaks.”
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.”
Top Sydney jockey Nash Rawiller will be the new rider for Dear Demi with Luke Nolen being required to ride the Peter Moody trained Miss Zenella who has come up with gate twelve in the eighteen horse field.
The Pat Carey trained Gondokoro has drawn the inside, but will still get back in the field as is her normal racing pattern.
Gondokoro has only one win on the board, a 1600m Moonee Valley maiden, but has been placed at Group 1 and Group 3 level at her last two starts.
Prior to her nose second to Dear Demi in the The Roses, the Zabeel filly was beaten twelve lengths when third to runaway winner Royal Descent and Dear Demi on a heavy track in the Group 1 $550,000 Patinack Farm Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick on April 20.
Gai Waterhouse will saddle up two runners in the Oaks, Vaquera who ran third to Dear Demi in The Roses and Porcellanus who is a winner at her only two starts at Newcastle and Warwick Farm.
Vaquera with Michael Rodd aboard will race handy from barrier five while Tim Clark on Porcellanus is also likely to push forward from gate thirteen.