D-day for Demerger

She doesn’t have to win but trainer Danny O’Brien wants to see a much better from Demerger in tomorrow’s Group 2 Cathay Pacific Airways Cup (2500m).

But he expects her to, as she has her final lead-up to Tuesday week’s Emirates Melbourne Cup at Flemington.

Winner of the Adelaide Cup over the two mile journey, Demerger has had three runs this campaign and her form reads much better than it looks.

After finishing seventh in the Craiglee Stakes first-up she ran a solid ninth in the Turnbull Stakes.

Last start, stepping up to 2400m of the Winning Edge Stakes, she blew the start and got well out of her ground before making up a lot of ground from last to finish ninth behind Growl.

O’Brien said the mare is ready to improve with the three runs under her belt, but he does need to see it.

“She’s going as well as ever,” O’Brien said. “We’ve taken her along quietly and this race was always in her program as a lead-up to the Melbourne Cup.

“She’s had a lovely preparation, she’s in great order and I think she’ll run well. But she needs to because this is her last run into the Cup and you’d want to see her run a good race.”

A below par effort may see her miss the Melbourne Cup to concentrate on a race like the Queen Elizabeth Stakes instead.

In tomorrow’s race Steven Arnold is back aboard and will jump from barrier 11. She is currently a $17.00 with TAB Sportsbet, while for the Cup the mare has just 51kg and is at $151.

O’Brien has a handful of good chances engaged on tomorrow’s 10 race card but none more interesting than American galloper Honor In War who contests the Tattersall’s Cox Plate.

The import, sent to Australia for the race, was given to O’Brien to prepare and so far he has settled in and galloped well.

Honor In War was posted a $101 chance to win tomorrow’s feature race but has been well supported into $41, although is still the outsider in the race.

“He’s a very talented horse with form on similar turf tracks to Moonee Valley in America,” O’Brien said. “He worked stylishly on Monday and came through it in good order.

“It will be a big test for him but he did go up a ridiculous price.”

The eight-year-old is a Group 1 winner in the United States and a winner up to the Cox Plate trip. Making his assignment tougher tomorrow is barrier 13 where Steven Arnold has the ride.

It will be O’Brien’s first Cox Plate runner.

The trainer believes stablemates Pin Up and Three Dee will both run well in their respective races.

Pin Up, in the Group 3 Inglis Mile, is an $11.00 chance following a solid fifth in the Ladies Day Vase at Caulfield.

Three Dee, in the Group 2 Jayco Crystal Mile, is $15.00 on a solid first-up fourth.

“Both are good chances,” O’Brien said. “Pin Up ran well last start but has the blinkers back on, while Three Dee is fitter and will appreciate the extra trip.”

by Jason Hickson - RacingandSports.com.au

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