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Star filly Dear Demi became the latest big-race winner in a relationship between trainer Clarry Conners and owner John Singleton when the three-year-old claimed the Group 1 VRC Oaks (2500m) at Flemington.

Singleton provided Conners’s fourth Golden Slipper winner when Belle Du Jour won the 2000 Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) among scores of Group victories and it was another daughter of Dehere that prevailed in the VRC Oaks.

Veteran jockey Jim Cassidy admitted fault for Dear Demi’s Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) defeat but managed to redeem himself with a terrific Oaks ride.

Cassidy gave Dear Demi time to balance at the back of the field while the front-runners set a quick clip for most of the race.

Cassidy got Dear Demi on to the back of his main rival Zydeco from the 800 metres, which proved to be the winning move as the favourite towed Dear Demi into the race.

Dear Demi hit the front at the 250 metres before driving to the line to finish 1-1/4 lengths clear of Zydeco while the Mick Kent-trained Summerbliss finished third.

Conners decided Dear Demi could join Research (2008) and Arborea (2003) as VRC Oaks winners before the three-year-old began her spring preparation. The trainer said the triumph was the result of months of hard work from the stable.

“She was so strong today. We set her for the race six months ago and this is her seventh run (this campaign) but she is a better horse than what I thought she would be,” Conners said.

“She has raced in all the big races and she’s had no luck in her last four starts but she keep trying, she’s got a heart as big as anything.”

“It was a very gutsy win today because she had to go back and at the 800m she was a long way from them.”

“The timing was perfect in her work, everything was right and this morning she was pig-rooting coming off the track and the boys there said she was ready too early.”

Dear Demi joined the likes of Zagalia and Mirror Mirror as big race winners Conners has trainer for Singleton.

The win was Dear Demi’s fourth from 15 starts and took her prizemoney tally to more than $1.1 million.

Click here to see how Dear Demi notched her maiden Group 1 win in the 2012 VRC Oaks.

© MiStable 2012

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