The spring cups contingent for Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock (ATB) has grown by one with the news talented English stayer Dandino will be set on a raid down under at the end of the year targeting the coveted 2013 Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.
The six-year-old Dansili stallion has most recently been under the preparation of Newmarket’s James Fanshawe who has trained them for their past eight runs out of a 19 start career.
A Group 2 winner in Britain in April of 2011 when under the care of their previous trainer, Dandino was racing very competitively last season.
Highlights of their time with Fanshawe include their Group 3 September Stakes (2414m) win at Kempton Park last September and their close second to Joshua Tree in the Grade 1 Canadian International Stakes (2413m) in Woodbine in October.
There is also nice form on their second to subsequent Caulfield Cup fifth placed My Quest For Peace in the Group 3 Glorious Stakes (2414m) at Goodwood in early August where they defeated the third placed Gatewood who went on to win the Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m) in Australia.
At their most recent start Dandino travelled to Sha Tin and looked a chance with 400m left to travel in December’s Group 1 Hong Kong Vase (2400m) at Sha Tin but faded to finish three lengths away seventh behind 2011 Melbourne Cup runner-up Red Cadeaux.
They are now gearing up for a new phase of their career having recently been purchased by ATB who are eyeing a trip to Australia where their main targets will be the $2.5 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) in October and the world’s richest handicap – the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington Racecourse on Tuesday November 5.
“We first spoke back in November (to their old owners) to try and see if we could get the horse, but they were committed to running him in Hong Kong, so we had to wait until after Hong Kong and then Christmas/New Year comes around and time just gets away,” ATB’s Darren Dance said this week.
“But we’ve got him. It’s good when these things come off because there’s plenty that don’t.
“The primary aim now is the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups. Everything will be geared around that.
“Whether that involves him going to Dubai or the European summer, we’re not sure, but we’ll be doing whatever is required to prepare him properly for Melbourne.”
This coming Monday Dandino will join the stables of Italian horseman Marco Botti.
ATB will be looking to improve on their good Melbourne Cup result from 2012 having been behind third placed Jakkalberry with Dance quick to draw comparisons between Dandino and the fellow Botti-trained American St Leger Stakes winner.
“He’s very similar to Jakkalberry in that, if you go through his race record, his age and his performances, he’s been racing against the right horses,” Dance said.
“He’s already performed well away from home, he prefers firm going, which is what we look for, so we think he ticks all the boxes.”
Dance also confirmed Jakkalberry was on track for their trip to Dubai for a shot at a two mile race at Meydan on Dubai World Cup Night on March 30.
He also confirmed the Michael Kent-trained Tac De Boistron, second last in the Melbourne Cup at just their second run in Australia last spring, was back in work heading towards the $500,000 Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) at Royal Randwick on April 27.
Ante-post Melbourne Cup betting markets meanwhile are led by Darren Weir’s imported Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner by five lengths Puissance De Lune ($11) while Dandino is yet to be added into the equation.
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