Crown Oaks winner Dear Demi will be set for a Spring Cups campaign after contesting the Group 1 $400,000 XXXX Gold Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Eagle Farm tomorrow.
A change of plans has already netted Dear Demi a Brisbane Winter Carnival win and a victory tomorrow will add a second Oaks trophy to trainer Clarry Conners’ cabinet after winning the Group 1 $1m Crown Oaks (2500m) at Flemington last Spring.
“She will need to go for a spell soon as we want to set her for the Cups in the spring,” Conners said.
“It wasn’t the plan originally to run her in Brisbane but she did so well after the Oaks at Royal Randwick, we decided to keep her going for the Queensland Oaks.”
The Dehere filly will be set for the Group 1 $2.5m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield in October and the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on the first Tuesday in November.
Dear Demi was unable to match it with runaway winner Royal Descent on a heavy track in the Group 1 $550,000 Patinack Farm Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick on April 20 with Victorian filly Gondokoro in third spot.
Conners then decided to make the trip to Brisbane and beat Gondokoro again by a nose in the Group 3 $175,000 Hidden Dragon The Roses (2000m) at Doomben on May 18.
The top Sydney trainer then surprised many by backing up Dear Demi against the colts and geldings the following week in the Group 3 $150,000 Mullins Lawyers Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) at Doomben, pleasing Conners with a solid sixth behind top Queensland Derby hope Hawkspur.
“If I had not run her last week then it would have been one race in six weeks going into the Oaks,” Conners said.
“She needed the racing, she thrives on it. She has backed up beautifully before and I can say she has done a treat in Brisbane.”
“I thought she hit the line ‘good’ last week. It was a task against the ‘boys’ but I was happy with her run.
“She has drawn a nice barrier and I’m hoping she can take advantage of that and settle a little closer, maybe about midfield.”
Dear Demi has been burdened with wide allies at her two Brisbane starts forcing her to get back in the field, but Conners has put the blinkers back on this week in an attempt to take advantage of the good barrier draw.
Main rival and equal favourite Gondokoro has drawn the rails, two inside Dear Demi and will more than likely settle a little worse than midfield which is her usual racing pattern.
Dear Demi and Gondokoro share the top spot in the market order at $3.60 a piece with Express Power and Porcellanus sharing the next line of betting at $10.
The Peter Moody trained Miss Zenella is on the $11 mark with Vaquera a $13 chance.