Clarry Conners is convinced Dear Demi has already negotiated the most important part of her build-up to the Sydney autumn carnival.
And now the trainer is counting on the mare’s impressive record when having her second run after a break to deliver a Group One Coolmore Classic win at Rosehill on Saturday.
Dear Demi returned with a placing in the Wiggle Stakes that confirmed she was set for another profitable campaign for her owner John Singleton while easing Conners’ worries she might be suffering from a Melbourne Cup hangover.
A Caulfield Cup placegetter, Dear Demi ran down the track in the Melbourne Cup but her Wiggle return was just as solid as any previous first-up run in her career.
“You can worry about mares coming back after a Melbourne Cup but I thought she ran well in the Wiggle,” Conners said.
Dear Demi is a $13 chance in a congested market behind the $4 favourite Catkins but Conners says the VRC Oaks winner’s statistics give her a realistic shot of adding another Group One to her resume.
“She’s got a good record second-up and we’ve been working on that looking towards the Coolmore,” he said.
Dear Demi’s second-up wins include the Furious Stakes and the Surround Stakes as a three-year-old.
Brisbane trainer Robert Heathcote is blaming himself for Buffering’s Challenge Stakes defeat but he will have no excuses for Fire Up Fifi in the Coolmore.
“I’ve got to put my hand up and say I got it wrong with Buffering,” Heathcote said.
“I may have gone a little bit too easy on him.”
Fire Up Fifi boasts a Melbourne spring carnival win over Catkins but Heathcote admits he was disappointed with her lead-up run in the Wiggle.
“Catkins was dominant and if anything Fifi’s run was only fair,” Heathcote said.
“But her subsequent work has been first-rate. We’re happy with the mare and there will not be any excuses as far as we are concerned.”
The Coolmore field has been reduced to 16 runners with the scratching of White Sage.
White Sage broke down during an exercise gallop at Randwick on Thursday and will be retired.