English stayer Dandino stole the show at the Werribee International Horse Centre this morning and is on target for the Group 1 $2.65m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 19.
And Newmarket trainer Marco Botti is also aiming Dandino towards the Group 1 $6.2m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 5.
The top Caulfield Cup fancy galloped with Side Glance and after giving the fellow English galloper a start, Dandino reined him in to win the gallop by a neck.
Dandino is still without a jockey for the Caulfield Cup with Botti and managing owner Darren Dance expected to name a rider in the next few days while leading English rider Ryan Moore has been booked for the Melbourne Cup.
The Dansili six year old comes to Australia after winning the US$400,000 American St. Leger Stakes (1 mile, 5 1/2 furlongs) at Arlington Park, USA on August 17.
At his previous run Dandino was beaten a length by Thomas Chippendale in the Group 2 £200,000 Hardwicke Stakes (1 mile 4 furlongs) at Royal Ascot on June 22.
And he also has a Group 1 placing to his credit with a half a length second to Joshua Tree in the CAD$1.5m Pattison Canadian International Stakes (1 mile, 4 furlongs) at Woodbine in Canada on October 14, 2012.
Botti is following the same path he took with Jakkalberry last year who also won the American St Leger before finishing thirteenth to Dunaden in the Caulfield Cup and running a terrific race when third to Green Moon in the Melbourne Cup.
“We think that the horse is in very good form,” Botti said.
“He didn’t have many races this year, he has only had the three starts, and his form has been very consistent.”
“He has enough speed for a mile and a half and we go into the Caulfield Cup hoping to run a good race.
“He is a horse that will be fit and well, if he all goes well in the next couple of weeks, and he will run with every chance in the Caulfield Cup.”
Botti will be stepping Dandino into the unknown when he tackles the 3200m for the first time at Flemington, but is confident the six year old will handle the trip.
“The two miles is always something that is a bit unknown because he has never previously run over that trip,” Botti said.
“He is a horse that travels really well in a race and he ticks all the boxes to be confident that he will get the Melbourne Cup trip.”
Dandino is well in the market for the Caulfield Cup and is on the third line of betting at $10 behind the Chris Waller pair of Hawkspur ($4.40) and Royal Descent ($9).
While in the Melbourne Cup, Dandino is a $19 chance in the market order that has the Gai Waterhouse trained Fiorente the $5.50 favourite in front of Hawkspur at $8 and Puissance De Lune at $11.