Dear Demi showed that she is on track for a second Oaks victory with a dominant win in the Group 2 $175,000 Patinack Farm Surround Stakes (1400m) at Warwick Farm today.
The Clarry Connors trained three year old filly showed why she is favourite for the Group 1 $550,000 ATC Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick on April 20 after finishing strongly down the middle of the track to overhaul Driefontein close to the line.
Dear Demi has returned from a spell in great style and was having her second run back since winning the Group 1 $1m Crown Oaks (2500m) at Flemington in November and Jim Cassidy declared that she will only get better as the distances get longer.
“I put my neck on the block and said to Singo I don’t think they can beat her again if they couldn’t beat her today,” Cassidy told owner John Singleton.
“I don’t think any of these three year old fillies can beat her. So she’ll probably go to the Coolmore and then obviously to the Oaks.”
“I’m just impressed the way she’s come back. She had a tough campaign winning the Oaks as we know. I think the rest have to catch up to her now.”
“Bigger backside, bigger engine, Singo’s a bit happier with me now,” Cassidy said.
The Group 1 $600,000 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill in two weeks is Dear Demi’s next assignment against the older mares under handicap conditions then onto the Australian Oaks.
Dear Demi ($6.50) was too strong for the Gai Waterhouse trained Driefontein ($7) in the run to the line with $14 chance Longport running a solid race for third.
Bennetta ($2 favourite) was caught wide from an awkward gate and failed to produce her usual finish to wound up in fifth spot.