The old firm of John Singleton, Clarry Conners and Jim Cassidy will be a formidable team for the G1 VRC Oaks with their Big Brown filly Dawnie Perfect.
The trio combined to win the 2012 VRC Oaks with Dear Demi and bookmakers are taking no chances this year after Dawnie Perfect stormed home to win the G3 Ethereal Stakes (2000m) on Saturday.
They firmed her into a $7 second-favourite behind Caulfield Classic winner Sacred Eye at $3.20.
Cassidy is sure Dawnie Perfect will run 2500 metres right out in the Flemington classic on November 5. “She virtually ran it today,” the five-time VRC Oaks winning jockey said at Caulfield. “I was three-deep the whole trip but she was relaxed and can stay.”
Connors has won the VRC Oaks with Research (1988), Arborea (1993) & Dear Demi. “I always knew she would be better once she got up to 2000 metres and I think she will be even better on the big track at Flemington,” he said. “The plan is to go to the Wakeful Stakes and then the Oaks – that seems to the best formula and it’s worked in the past.”
Singleton named Dawnie Perfect after his close friend Dawn Fraser – Australia’s greatest female swimmer – and the filly is bred to capture a classic. She is the 15th stakes winner by Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown and her dam Zagalia (Zabeel) won the 2003 Queensland Oaks.
Big Brown mare Neverland will also target more black-type in Perth after cruising clear in a barrier trial last week. She won the LR Challenge Stakes for owner-breeder Bob Peters in February before playing second fiddle to stablemate Delicacy in the WA 1000 Guineas and Natasha Stakes.
Peters is assembling a strong team for the Ascot summer carnival and Neverland will be suited in races like the Jungle Mist Classic (1200m), Jungle Dawn Classic (1400m), Starstruck Classic (1600m) and La Trice Classic (1800m).