James McDonald aboard Mokulua (Image: Racing Photos)
Chances are Saturday's $300,000 Group 2 3 Point Motors Fillies Classic (1600m) at The Valley won by Mokulua won't live long in the memory but winning rider James McDonald certainly remembers Mokulua's dam Dear Demi.
McDonald won the G2 Furious Stakes aboard Dear Demi, when her three-year-old spring campaign culminated in G1 Victoria Oaks success with Jimmy Cassidy in the saddle. McDonald also partnered Dear Demi into third behind Fawkner and Dandino in the 2013 Caulfield Cup.
In winning the Fillies' Classic, Mokulua provided veteran trainer Clarry Conners with his first winner at The Valley since Dear Demi won the G2 Stocks Stakes (1600m) in September 2014.
"Lovely to ride a winner for Clarry in these colours," McDonald said. "I remember his dear filly called Dear Demi, she put me on the map and it was nice to ride a really good winner for him with a quality filly."
WATCH: Mokulua's Moonee Valley Fillies' Classic win
Mokulua ($12) defeated fellow maiden filly Whatafox ($8) in the Fillies' Classic by 2.75 lengths, while Maracana ($3.90) settled last but closed best, widest of all, to finish third a further neck away.
"Her toughness and her will to win was there," McDonald said. "Obviously the mid-to-early stages was a bit worrying - we kept getting shuffled back.
"Her electric turn of foot really helped her out and with a bit of give in the ground she's going to be a lovely filly in the autumn."
Mokulua, who is expected to be spelled following Saturday's win, was McDonald's second winner on Cox Plate Day at The Valley, after he opened his account with Generation in in the G3 Red Anchor Stakes (1200m) in the preceding race.