The next Dear Demi?
Only trainer Clarry Conners would be reluctant to compare a two-year-old filly with his former champion mare, but there was no shying away from the praise Conners has for his two-year-old Legal Girl.
So where do the comparisons begin?
Well, Dear Demi was a $130,000 Magic Millions Gold Coast yearling purchase in 2011, and five years later, Legal Girl was knocked down for $140,000 at the same sale.
The next comparison?
Both fillies had two starts before Christmas of their two-year-old season, running top four without registering a win.
Legal Girl (Star Witness x La Fantastique) is about 35th in the order of entry for next month’s Magic Millions 2YO Guineas Classic, but would need to win between now and then to guarantee a start.
Dear Demi wasn’t able to do that at start No. 3, and was instead freshened for a tilt at the Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Randwick in late April.
She’d resume on February 25, 2011 to break her maiden in a 1200m handicap at Rosehill before runs in the G3 Sweet Embrace (seventh), G3 The Schweppervescence (second) and the Listed Fernhill Quality (won), before running second to Pierro in the Champagne Stakes.
And it’s a path Legal Girl will likely follow if she can’t move up the ballot for the $2 million race on the Gold Coast.
“We’ll try and qualify her and if not we’ll spell and get her ready for her next campaign, maybe (target) the Champagne,” Conners said.
“She’ll be a three-year-old for sure, she’s a beautiful filly. She’s my first Star Witness – she’ll be a nice filly in 12 months. She’ll go down the same path we went down with Dear Demi, she reminds me very much of her.
“In 12 months time you might say, ‘You were right you know.’”
Dear Demi returned after the Champagne Stakes as a three-year-old, running third in the G3 Silver Shadow before winning the G2 Furious Stakes (1400m), running fourth in the G2 Tea Rose (1500m), third in the G1 Flight Stakes (1600m) and second in the G1 Thousand Guineas (1600m).
The daughter of Dehere then ran fourth in the G2 Wakeful (2000m) before winning the 2011 G1 Crown Oaks (2500m). She amassed more than $2.1 million in stakes from 40 starts.
But it wouldn’t be unfair, either, to compare Legal Girl with Global Glamour – another daughter of Star Witness who flourished as a three-year-old, winning the G1 Flight Stakes and G1 Thousand Guineas this spring.
Global Glamour was a $65,000 Magic Millions purchase in 2015, and won on debut as a two-year-old before being saved for her three-year-old campaign. (She's also the early favourite for next month's Magic Millions 3YO Guineas Classic)
Legal Girl’s dam La Fantastique (by Fantastic Light) won the 2011 Listed Tasmanian Oaks (2100m) as a three-year-old, so there’s no reason why Conners can’t plan another attack on next year’s Thousand Guineas.
“She’s a nice filly with a big future,” he said.
“Whether it’s this prep or next, we’ll know when the time comes.”
Conners said Legal Girl would try and gain a start at Wyong next Thursday, if not the G3 BJ McLachlan Stakes at Doomben on December 31, to try and gain a start in the Magic Millions 2YO Guineas Classic.