Talented mare Dear Demi is on track to return to the races after she recorded an impressive barrier trial victory at Hawkesbury this morning.
Dear Demi contested the third barrier trial of the morning over 1000 metres and showed plenty of early speed to score a comfortable one length victory over local galloper At Twilight and Team Snowden-trained Never Fazed.
Trainer Clarry Connors told TVN this morning that he was thrilled with the barrier trial performance of Dear Demi and he believes that the Group 1 winning mare is set to have the best preparation of her career to date during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
“I was tickled pink with her trial,” Connors said.
“She’s come back much sharper this preparation, which is nice and James McDonald said it’s the best she’s ever felt.
“I hope he’s right and I think he’s on the right track; I’ve been very happy with her.
“When she spelled this time the people at Strawberry Hill purposefully kept weight off her.”
Connors revealed last week that the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) will be the major 2014 Spring Racing Carnival target for Dear Demi and she will return to the races in the Group 3 Toy Show Quality (1300m) at Caulfield on August 30.
Team Hawkes-trained Atlante contested the same barrier trial at Hawkesbury and he worked home fairly to finish fifth in what was his first public appearance since he left the stable of Murray Baker after his luckless autumn campaign.
Atlante made his Australian racing debut with a second place finish in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 1 and he was far from disgraced when sixth in the Group 1 Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m) on March 15, but he was plagued by wet tracks for the rest of his preparation.
Team Hawkes are yet to decide when the Fastnet Rock entire will return to the races, but races like the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on September 20, the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick on October 4 and the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on November 8 are all on the agenda for the four-year-old.
Anthony Cummings-trained Scandiva is another Group 1 hopeful that contested the 1000 metre barrier trial at Hawkesbury this morning and she finished at the tail of the field just over three lengths behind Dear Demi.
Dear Demi is currently available at 2014 Caulfield Cup odds of $51 in the betting market for the Group 1 event at Ladbrokes Australia.