Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock’s Darren Dance has expressed interest in a return trip to Australia for Dandino to target the 2014 Melbourne Cup despite a first-up sixth from the horse at Royal Ascot over the weekend.
Dansili stallion Dandino, prepared in Newmarket by Marco Botti, had a two hit Spring Cups’ campaign down under last Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
They impressed thanks to a gun Craig Williams’ ride in the $2.65 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) when second behind Fawkner in the first leg of the double.
Then on the first Tuesday of November at Flemington they were far from disgraced when three and a half lengths away fifth to the Gai Waterhouse-trained Fiorente in the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m).
Saturday’s £213,300 Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes (2414m) at Ascot in England then was the galloper’s first run since Melbourne Cup Day, a seven and a half month between runs.
They were held up on the inside however and didn’t improve, going along at only a moderate pace before failing to put themselves into the mix over the concluding stages.
Eventually Dandino crossed 13.5 lengths away sixth to the runaway Hardwicke Stakes winner Telescope, who is a chance for the Prix De L’Arc De Triomphe.
It was a far cry from their second behind Thomas Chippendale in the feature last year.
It was also an effort connections are hoping they can improve on as they head towards their second spring carnival on Aussie soil, but one that Dance said he wasn’t disappointed with.
Dance also confirmed trainer Botti had positive things to say after the result, and that the horse would likely back-up in a Group 2 race in France in a fortnight’s time.
Both the 2014 Caulfield Cup on October 18 and the 2014 Melbourne Cup on November 4 are then on the agenda again for Dandino according to Dance.
Also a chance to head to Australia for a Melbourne Cup bid this spring was Hardwicke Stakes third placed Pether’s Moon.
Another smart stayer owned by Australian connections the Richard Hannon-trained Dylan Thomas four-year-old was seven and a half off the winner but is only lightly raced win 12 starts on their record.
Their owner John Manley said post-race he would like to see Pether’s Moon race in either the Melbourne Cup or the $3 million Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m) under weight-for-age at Moonee Valley on October 25.
“I’d consider the Melbourne Cup if the trainer thought it was the right thing to do,” Manley said as quoted by Racing Victoria.
“We’ve talked about it and lots of people have asked about it. I think I’d like a bit of incentive from the people there.
“The Cox Plate might suit, as he’s got plenty of early speed.”
Futures spring markets on the upcoming majors are also already open at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Dandino pays $26 in Melbourne Cup betting as equal fourth favourite in markets led by Gai Waterhouse’s Sydney Cup camp The Offer ($13), and $34 in pre-nomination Caulfield Cup odds.
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