Lindsay Park’s Hong Kong import Dibayani could debut down under at Flemington Racecourse this weekend in the Aurie’s Star Handicap 2015.
The opening Group race of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, Saturday’s $150,000 Group 3 Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m) runs down the Flemington straight and is likely to feature the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Shamardal gelding Dibayani.
The multiple stakes placegetter hasn’t raced since a dead last behind Military Attack in Singapore in late October last year over the mile, the six-year-old boasting winning form up to 2200m.
An ex-Irish stayer who has most recently been trained in Hong Kong by Michael Chang, Dibayani bled from the nostrils during his last start failure but has made a full recovery and is ready to start his career in Australia.
Co-trainer Dabernig confirmed the stable would throw in an Aurie’s Star nomination for this weekend, which if accepted for would be his first run under 1400m.
The original plan was to place him in the Group 2 PB Lawrence Stakes (1400m) Saturday week, August 15, at Caulfield Racecourse but a winning 800m jumpout at Flemington last Friday showed he could be ready for a sooner than expected run.
“We were thinking of running him first-up in the P B Lawrence, but he went so well in his trial down the straight on Friday,” Dabernig told AAP.
“So we’re going to nominate for the Aurie’s Star and have a look at it.
“He’s never run shorter than 1400 metres so it’s a bit of a gamble.
“He’s jumping out of his skin at the moment.
“We’ll look at the nominations, look at the weights and make a decision during the week.”
All going well and Dabernig confirmed plans to run Dibayani in elite level company in the $400,000 Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 29 where connections hoped he could live up to his previous good form around the likes of champion galloper Able Friend.
“He had some really good form over there behind Able Friend and the like,” Dabernig said.
“You never know with these Hong Kong horses how they’ll go, but I think he’s been really suited by the Australian way of training.”
The John Moore-trained Able Friend meanwhile is also Australia-bound this season currently sitting top of the odds at Ladbrokes.com.au at $9 to win the $3 million Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 24.
The six-year-old son of Shamardal hasn’t raced since finishing a disappointing sixth behind Solow at Ascot in June’s Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes (1600m), before which he won the Group 1 Hong Kong Mile (1600m) at Sha Tin.
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