Next month’s Darwin Cup 2014 is the main target this time in for the Neil Dyer-trained Victorian raider Cantonese who races at Fannie Bay for the fourth time on the trot this weekend.
The Redoute’s Choice six-year-old has been racing exclusively in Darwin this winter since resuming off a seven and a half month spell.
Before their lengthy let off the gelding was raced in Sydney by Bjorn Baker, Kyneton-based Dyer their third trainer as the horse also began their career for John O’Shea back in 2011.
A winner of seven of their 34 starts to date, Cantonese hasn’t won a race since the Listed Christmas Cup (2400m) back in December of 2012 at Rosehill.
It’s been a long time between drinks then for the well-tried stayer who ran their first top three finish since that victory last start.
Improving on a ninth behind Warrego Melody in the Tattsbet Roant Gold Cup (1300m) on June 28, Cantonese appreciated a step up to the mile for the Chief Minister’s Cup (1600m) on July 12 crossing just a long neck second behind Smarty Mac after racing wide throughout on the dirt track.
They get a chance to go one better over the same track and distance at this Saturday’s Fannie Bay meeting racing in the last.
Cantonese, who will again be ridden by Kiwi expat Jarrod Todd, runs in the $50,000 Sky Racing Metric Mile (1600m) where they’ve come up with barrier one of 10.
That will be their final run before a shot at the lucrative $200,000 Darwin Cup on Monday August 4, a feature trainer Dyer will be shooting for yet another win in following the victories of the recently retired Hawks Bay in 2011 and 2012.
A jockey fall on Darwin Cup Day last year saw the 2013 edition of the staying showdown abandoned.
It’s not just the Darwin Cup Dyer and Todd have enjoyed success in up the Top End, the trainer-jockey duo also combined last Saturday to win the $135,000 Northern Territory Derby with Royal Request.
That came on the back of their Bridge Toyota Cup victory with six-year-old Bel Sir, another progeny of Bel Esprit like their NT Derby winner and gave them a total of five wins in the Darwin Winter Racing Carnival since mid-June.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au for all the latest on the Darwin Cup.
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