Lindsay Park’s Tom Dabernig is confident the stable’s recent import Guest Of Honour has what it takes to surprise a few when the stallion steps out at Caulfield in Saturday’s 2015 Futurity Stakes.
After nominations were extended, a total of 12 early entries were received for this weekend’s $400,000 Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) – one of three Group 1s for Blue Diamond Stakes Day.
The field and Futurity Stakes betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au will be dominated by the likes of the Peter Moody-trained CF Orr Stakes winner Dissident, runner-up in that Group 1 over the same track and distance Entirely Platinum, Gai Waterhouse’s Group 1 winning mare Driefontein, and the Chris Waller-trained Expressway Stakes winner Weary.
Dabernig, who trains in partnership with his famous uncle David Hayes, is warning punters however not to rule out Cape Cross six-year-old Guest Of Honour who has his first run for them in the race and his first look at less than 1600m.
“He’s never run below a mile before,” Dabernig told AAP.
“But with our training and being first-up at 1400-metres, he could just be one of those imports that might sprint well fresh.”
Winner of the Group 2 Summer Mile (1600m) at Ascot in the UK last July, Guest Of Honour debuted down under when still under the training of Marco Botti in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield last October.
He got back in the pack early however and, while strong to the line, never looked a threat crossing three and a half lengths away ninth behind winner Trust In A Gust.
He then failed to finish the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley last time out.
Guest Of Honour got trapped wide throughout the entire trip and weakened badly in the run home dropping right out and not finishing the race won by the now Chris Waller-trained Adelaide.
Hayes and Dabernig now have Guest Of Honour back on track however after making a full recovery from his failed Cox Plate bid at Lindsay Park’s Euroa base where he has put on lots of condition during his time off.
“He’s done most of his work at Euroa but we’ve brought him down to Flemington over the last couple of weeks for trialling purposes and to get him used to the stable,” Dabernig said.
Brad Rawiller has also been confirmed for the Futurity Stakes ride.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au for the full Melbourne Saturday race fields set for release later today.
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