The Marco Botti-trained Dandino just can’t catch a break when it comes to the Group 1 Crown Golden Ale Caulfield Cup (2400m).
After an impressive runner-up finish from gate 16 last year, the gelding has drawn the outside barrier in this year’s $3 million feature Group One race.
Dandino drew the extreme outside barrier (22) in Tuesday’s live barrier draw from Crown casino, however will start from gate 18 after the emergencies are withdrawn.
The son of Dansili has already drifted from $11 to $15 with online bookmaker Ladbrokes.com.au following the draw but jockey Craig Williams, who rode Dandino in last year’s Caulfield Cup, isn’t giving up hope just yet.
“I flinched and went a bit weak at the knees when I saw the draw but he nearly won it last year from 16, this year’s he up half a kilo but most importantly he’s come out here and is in really good order,” Williams said to racing.com.
“I’d rather have a bad barrier draw with a horse that’s going really well than have a great barrier draw with a horse that can’t win the race.”
It is worth noting Williams rode Dunaden to victory in the 2012 Caulfield Cup from the outside barrier, so the horror draw doesn’t mark the end of Dandino’s Caulfield Cup winning chances, it’s just made them a lot harder.
“I won the (2012) Caulfield Cup on Dunaden from the outside barrier and Dandino ran second from 16, there’s no doubt it would have made my job easier if he had of drawn in barriers one to eight, but I’m very confident about my horse’s chances, I’m just going to need a bit of luck.”
Dandino is at least in-form ahead of the world’s richest 2400m race this Saturday, following a Listed St Leger Stakes (2700m) second in August followed up with a fourth in the Group 3 September Stakes (2400m).
This weekend marks the beginning of the ‘Big Three’ major races of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
Ladbrokes.com.au is celebrating by offering punters the chance to win $3 million on a bet of just $3. All you have to do is correctly pick the winners of the eight featured races on Caulfield Cup Day and you’ll earn your share of the $3 million prize pool, or walk away with the whole thing if you’re the only winner!