Claire claims qualifier for Melbourne Cup

Honest mare Dame Claire (NZ) made it back-to-back victories in the LR Andrew Ramsden Stakes (3200m) at Flemington on Saturday.

Dame Claire (4m Danehill Dancer – Lovely Actress by Kaldoun) is trained by in-form conditioner Pat Carey and she led the field throughout the marathon.  Jockey Craig Newitt sent her five lengths clear at the 1200 metres and she maintained a strong gallop in the straight.

“She’s not a big mare but she’s very, very tough,” Carey said.  “To carry 57.5kg and win like that was a great effort and really good to watch.”

The Andrew Ramsden Stakes was formerly known as the Duke Of Norfolk Stakes and the winner passed the first qualifying clause for the 2012 Melbourne Cup.  But Carey indicated a race like the Sandown Cup would be a more suitable target.

The Danehill Dancer mare has won 5 races in 24 starts and she was coming off a Flemington victory over 2800 metres on May 5.  On that occasion she defeated the stakes winning Karaka graduate Almodovar (Pins) by three lengths.

Dame Claire is one of three winners for French bred mare Lovely Actress following Taylor Dane (Danehill) and Artistic Rock (Rock of Gibraltar).  Their dam is an unraced half-sister to G1 English 1000 Guineas winner Cape Verdi (Caerleon).

The latest stakes winner from the family was bred and sold by Monovale Farm at NZ Bloodstock’s 2009 Karaka Premier Sale for $30,000.  She has now won $250,000 in stakes.