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Australian-owned stayer Dandino will run at Royal Ascot next month before being set for a tilt at the 2013 Melbourne Cup.
The six-year-old was bought by Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock with the goal of targeting the spring staying features but will first contest the Hardwicke Stakes on June 22.
Formerly prepared by James Fanshawe, Dandino has been transferred to Newmarket trainer Marco Botti who also trains last year’s Melbourne Cup third placegetter Jakkalberry for ATB.
Dandino has had one lead-up run in preparation for Royal Ascot, finishing second in a four-horse field over 2400m at Newmarket on May 4.
ATB’s Darren Dance told Sky Sports Radio their Melbourne Cup hope was “slightly underdone” for the first-up hit-out and is looking forward to seeing him at close to full fitness at Royal Ascot.
“He goes there as definitely a top two or three chance providing the track is firm,” Dance said.
Dance said they toyed with the option of running in the Coronation Cup this Saturday but didn’t want to risk “bottoming him out” against a tough field.
“He’s not running in the Coronation Cup on Saturday night. He held an entry but the main plan was always to go to the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot,” he said.
The son of Dansili won at Group 2 level in the Qipco Jockey Club Stakes (2400m) at Newmarket in 2011 and finished runner-up to well-regarded stayer Joshua Tree in the Group 1 Canadian International Stakes last October.
Dandino is currently a $41 chance in the Melbourne Cup market while Jakkalberry is a $34 chance.
Jakkalberry suffered an injury in March that ruled him out of the Dubai World Cup meeting but Dance said he remains hopeful he can make a successful return to Melbourne’s spring carnival.
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