Jockey Craig Williams will get a chance to secure his third Caulfield Cup trophy in four years having been booked to ride top international hope Dandino in the 2014 edition of the world’s richest mile and a half handicap on October 18.
One of the country’s best known and top performing hoops, Williams has partnered two Caulfield Cup winners in recent years with Adelaide mare Southern Speed (2011) and French raider Duanden (2012).
This Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival he’s got another exciting opportunity with Marco Botti’s English visitor Dandino who he rode for a close second behind the Robert Hickmott-trianed Fawkner in the classic last year.
This year the Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock (ATB) owned Dansili stallion Dandino is back looking to go one better in the $3 million Group 1 Crown Golden Ale Caulfield Cup (2400m) and Aussie connections have again engaged the services of Williams.
Williams, 37, confirmed his decision to stay on Dandino for the Caulfield Cup 2014 having also had the chance to ride UK mare Ambivalent, Roger Varian’s Middleton Stakes winner Group 1 performed at home and in Dubai.
Dandino meanwhile backed up from his Caulfield Cup second last spring to finish fifth in another top run, this time with Ryan Moore in the saddle, behind the Gai Waterhouse-trained Fiorente in the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m).
The 2014 Melbourne Cup on the first Tuesday of November at Flemington is also on the cards again in 2014 for the veteran eight-year-old who was last seen crossing fourth to Prince Bishop in the Group 3 September Stakes (2414m) at Kempton Park in the UK on September 6.
It’s been over a year between drinks for the international performer however.
Dandino travelled down under 12 months ago on the back of a win in the American St. Leger (2714m) that August but hasn’t won a race since.
Botti is hoping that can change when he competes in his second Spring Cups’ campaign this month.
In the latest Caulfield Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au Dandino is rated a $21 chance with markets led by Japanese raider Bande ($9).
He’s also at that same price as one of the top chances in futures Melbourne Cup betting at Ladbrokes where Waterhouse’s Sydney Cup winner The Offer is the $11 favourite.
ATB managing owner Darren Dance also this week announced Craig Newitt will ride the fellow Botti-trained Seismos in the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups, the Dalakhani gelding having won the Group 3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes (2670m) at Newbury on August 16.
Also representing ATB and Botti in the majors this year is Cape Cross stallion Guest Of Honour, the six-year-old to go first-up in the $400,000 Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield Racecourse next Saturday with Damien Oliver to ride.
Guest Of Honour’s performance there will determine whether the last start Group 2 Summer Mile Stakes winner backs up in the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 25.
To check out all the early odds on offer for the big races this spring make sure you head along to Ladbrokes.com.au where new depositing players will have their initial investments matched dollar for dollar up to $500 as a bonus bet when using the code SPRINGBONUS!