Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock-owned import Dandino has joined the Victorian stables of Darren Weir ahead of a spring comeback next October targeting the Caulfield Cup 2015.
The former Marco Botti-trained European was scratched from this year’s edition of the $3 million Group 1 Crown Golden Ale Caulfield Cup (2400m) having pulled up lame in his off-foreleg just two days before the race following a piece of trackwork.
It would have been the second time the Dansili stallion contested the famous Caulfield feature following his nice second behind Fawkner in 2013 when ridden by Craig Williams from an outside barrier 16 draw.
Winner of last year’s American St Leger, Dandino also ran in the 2013 Melbourne Cup crossing fifth behind the Gai Waterhouse-trained Fiorente in the ‘race that stops a nation’.
This year he has been kept to just four races, the latest of which was a distant fourth behind Prince Bishop in the Group 3 September Stakes (2414m) at Kempton Park in the UK on September 6.
Losing Dandino to injury before the Caulfield Cup this year was an obvious blow for connections, but ATB’s managing director Darren Dance believes the horse will be right for another shot in 2015.
They plan to take things slow with the veteran eight-year-old as he recovers under the preparation of his new trainer Weir, whose Ballarat base the horse arrived at on Thursday, with another spring cups bid the obvious target.
“He’s in Ballarat on the treadmill for the next eight-to-10 weeks and then we’ll shift him down the beach and we’ll just progress slowly with all eyes on spring with the plan to get him ready for the Caulfield Cup,” Dance told Racing Victoria.
“There were a number of trainers in the mix; the owners are probably aware of Darren’s ability to rehab horses and train stayers and I think the appeal with him was probably his access to the Warrnambool stables.”
All going well and Dandino will also be in the mix for another shot at the world’s richest handicap, the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) running at Flemington on the first Tuesday of November.
Futures Melbourne Cup betting markets are already open at Ladbrokes.com.au with German stayer Protectionist the $13 favourite to go back-to-back on November 3.
Dandino meanwhile is also inside the top 10 at a current quote of $34.
Another ATB-owned 2015 Melbourne Cup hope is Seismos, the Botti-trained Dalakhani gelding ninth this year when beaten 12.5 lengths as a 100-1 shot.
Current plans for the Geoffrey Freer Stakes winner are to spell in Newmarket for three more weeks before getting back into work for a shot at the Group 1 Ascot Gold Cup (4023m) in June.
After Royal Ascot he will then target September’s Group 1 Irish St Leger (2816m).
Seismos pays $67 in the all-in Melbourne Cup 2015 odds at Ladbrokes.
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