Trainer Clarry Connors has revealed that the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) will be the major 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival target for talented mare Dear Demi.
Dear Demi is set to return to the races in the Group 3 Wiggle Stakes (1400m) at Warwick Farm on March 8 and will step back up to Group 1 level for the Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 22.
Connors told TVN this morning that he would like Dear Demi to have a start between the Coolmore Classic and the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Royal Randwick on April 19, but he ruled out a tilt at the Group 1 The BMW (2400) at Rosehill Gardens on April 5.
“I could not be happier with her,” Conners said.
“She is a tough mare, she likes racing and she keeps coming up.
“She is sound; she is a racehorse and not a show pony.”
Dear Demi failed to record a race win during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, but produced a number of strong performances at the highest level of racing during her preparation.
She resumed with a fair seventh behind Commanding Jewel in the Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on September 7 and produced one of the best efforts of her racing career when third behind five-time Group 1 winner It’s A Dundeel and glamour mare Atlantic Jewel in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m).
Dear Demi had no luck from an outside gate in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m), but she returned to her best form a fortnight later when she flew home down the inside of the track to finish third behind Fawkner and Dandino in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) and she backed that performance up with an unlucky second behind Side Glance in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m).
The Dehere mare received a sprinkling of support in the lead-up to the Melbourne Cup, but she tired in the final stages of the race to finish nineteenth.
Dear Demi made her first public appearance since the Melbourne Cup in a barrier trial over 795 metres at Warwick Farm on February 7 and she finished fourth behind stablemate Satin Shoes, Steps In Time and Streama.
Dear Demi is currently available at 2014 Queen Elizabeth Stakes odds of $26; with Kiwi superstar It’s A Dundeel ($4.20) a clear favourite from 2013 Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente ($6).