Dear Demi confirmed her status as Australia’s premier staying filly with a barnstorming win in today’s Group One $1 million VRC Oaks (2500m) at Flemington.
In continuing a golden run for stakes winning fillies from the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, Dear Demi gave her main rival a start and a beating in the fillies classic.
After running unlucky seconds in both the Thousand Guineas and Wakeful Stakes, Dear Demi was sent out the second favourite behind Wakeful winner Zydeco.
Dear Demi responded beautifully to veteran hoop Jim Cassidy and the two raced away to win by a length and a quarter.
The Dehere filly was purchased by her trainer Clarry Conners for $130,000 from last year’s Gold Coast Yearling Sale.
“She was so strong today,” Conners said. “We set her for the race six months ago and this is her seventh run (this preparation) but she is a better horse than what I thought she would be.”
“She has raced in all the big races and she’d had no luck in her last four starts but she keeps trying, she’s got a heart as big as anything.”
The winner’s circle was bubbling with excitement from Conners, his wife Maree, who was celebrating her birthday and owner John Singleton.
“He is such a beautiful guy,” Singleton said of Conners. “We’ve had some wonderful success together.”
Dear Demi follows in the hoofsteps of Dehere’s other Australian Group One winners – Belle du Jour, Defier and Pear Tart – all having been purchased from the same Gold Coast sale ring.
The only runner to date for the unraced Zabeel mare Shirley, Dear Demi has now earned her connections over $1.13 million from four wins and six placings from 15 lifetime starts.
Shirley, from the Golden Slipper winner Merlene, is a half sister to the former crack South African filly Merlene De Lago.
Merlene De Lago is back in Australia and her first foal, a bay colt by champion sire Redoute’s Choice will go under the hammer at January’s 2013 Gold Coast Yearling Sale.
A member of a quality Arrowfield Stud draft, the Redoute’s Choice-Merlene De Lago colt is catalogued as lot 61 and will go under the hammer during the first session on January 9.
Winner: Dear Demi
Breeding: Dehere-Shirley (Zabeel)
Race: VRC Oaks G1 (2500m)
Sold for: $130,000
Sale: 2011 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale
Vendor: Strawberry Hill Stud
Buyer: Clarry Conners
Owners: Strawberry Hill Stud Syndicate (Mgr: JD Singleton)
Trainer: Clarry Conners (Geelong)