Everything is on track for the now Darren Weir-trained Dandino to kick off his Caulfield Cup campaign this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival at the end of the month in the Memsie Stakes 2015.
The former Maco Botti-trained European galloper was runner-up behind Fawkner in the 2013 Caulfield Cup on the back of a win in the USA St Leger, and also ran fifth to Fiorente in that year’s $6.2 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington.
A son of Dansili, the now nine-year-old stayer had four runs back in Europe after the Melbourne Cup, but hasn’t raced since a fourth in the Group 3 September Stakes (2400m) nearly 12 months ago at Kempton Park.
He has since transferred to the care of Wangoom-based trainer Weir who has helped the veteran through a recovery from a tendon injury that ruled him out of a Spring Cups’ bid last year and who plans to run Dandino first-up at Caulfield Racecourse on August 29 in the $400,000 Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m).
This Wednesday Weir will trial Dandino at Ballarat ahead of the Memsie where he is hoping the horse will prove his fitness after lots of beach work.
“He’s done a lot of work at the beach and we’ve put a lot of miles into his legs without galloping, so he’ll certainly derive a lot of benefit from his first-up run,” Weir told Racing Victoria.
“He’s an older horse that’s had an injury so his best might be behind him but he’s still a very nice horse.
“The main aim is to just try and win a race with him; you just have to take things run by run when they’ve had an injury like he has.”
From there the main aim is getting the warhorse in his best form for another run in the $3 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m), the world’s richest mile and a half handicap held on October 17 this spring.
Dandino is set to go via the Group 1 Melbourne races into the Caulfield Cup with post-Memsie runs planned in the $400,000 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 12 and the $400,000 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield a fortnight later.
Early Caulfield Cup betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au have Japan’s Fame Game and Kiwi-trained Australian Derby winner Mongolian Khan as the equal $13 favourites.
Dandino meanwhile is listed as a $41 chance.
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