Tracking Demerger - The Age

DEMERGER, already the winner of a 3200-metre cup and the mare The Age is shadowing to the Melbourne Cup, has been allotted 51.5 kilograms in the $5 million race.

In May, Demerger won the Adelaide Cup carrying 51 kilograms, her impressive seven-length victory putting her near the top of early markets on the Melbourne Cup.

"That's fine, 51½, that's what she's supposed to get," Flemington trainer Danny O'Brien said, referring to her rating of 106.

The five-year-old mare will have her first start this campaign in the Craiglee Stakes (1600 metres) on her home track tomorrow. She has had two relatively easy barrier trials, the latest at Werribee on Tuesday, and yesterday "stretched her legs" over 1200 metres, coming home the final 400 metres in about 25 seconds.

What hope has she in the Craiglee, in which she will be ridden by likely cup jockey Blake Shinn? "She'll run well," O'Brien said, "but she's at the mercy of the tempo."

Demerger needs a fast pace to finish on in the short trip, but weight-for-age races can be stop-start affairs. She is rated a $17 chance in a strong and, on paper, even field.

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