2013 Melbourne Cup Hope Dandino Ready for Hardwicke Stakes – Royal Ascot

Australian-owned 2013 Melbourne Cup hope Dandino will give punters an early insight into his spring chances when he steps out in the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes (2400m) at Royal Ascot on Saturday.

The six-year-old was bought by Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock in February who have beefed up their team to aim at the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.

ATB-owned stayer Jakkalberry finished third in the Melbourne Cup last year and they are hoping Dandino can join him in Australia’s biggest race this year.

On Saturday the Dansili entire will be running second-up after finishing second in the Group 2 Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket last month.

This weekend’s hit-out is a far tougher assignment, with last year’s Melbourne Cup fifth placegetter Mount Athos among his rivals.

But trainer Marco Botti is optimistic about the future stallion prospect’s chances, pointing to a suitable dry track and the race being run at his pet distance as reasons to be confident.

“I think he will have a very good chance…it’s at his best trip, a mile and a half (2400m),” Botti told ATB’s Darren Dance.

“I hope the ground won’t change a lot. Ideally, good to firm is what we want.”

Botti also said Jakkalberry remains on track to contest his second Melbourne Cup despite a leg injury that occurred during his win in the Group 2 Dubai City Of Gold in March.

“Jakkalberry is recovering really well, we’re really pleased with the way he’s progressing,” Botti said.

“He’s due to start cantering in a week’s time and hopefully he’s still on schedule for the Melbourne Cup. We couldn’t be happier and so far, so good.”

In early Melbourne Cup betting, Jakkalberry is a $34 chance while Dandino is at $41.

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