Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock will have the chance to continue their dominance of the American St Leger when Dandino contests the 2014 edition of the race at Arlington on August 16.
Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock won the inaugural edition of the American St Leger in 2012, before going on to finish third in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington later in the year, while Dandino scored a narrow win over Suntracer and Najjaar in last year’s race.
Darren Dance, the founder of Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock, confirmed that Dandino would chase back-to-back wins in the race before heading to Australia for another tilt at the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) and Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
“He is off to Arlington for the St Leger on the 16th of August and Marco is saying that he is in good form and probably a little bit better than last season,” Dance told Racing Ahead this morning.
“We just need a firm track to show everyone that this in the case.”
Dandino made his Australian racing debut with a fast-finishing second behind Fawkner in the Caulfield Cup last year and was sent to the spelling paddock after he finished fifth in the Melbourne Cup at Flemington on November 5.
The Dansili gelding returned to the races with a sixth place finish in the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes (2414m) at the Royal Ascot meeting on June 21 and he failed to beat home a runner when he finished sixth behind Cavalryman on a wet track in the Group 2 Princess Of Wales’s Stakes (2414m) at Newmarket on July 10.
Dance said that Dandino was never a chance in the Princess Of Wales’s Stakes after the Newmarket track was hit by heavy rain in the lead-up to the race, but believes that the seven-year-old will be better for the run
“He had a run at Newmarket,” Dance said.
“Being a firm track only horse we were reluctant after we had 27 mils of rain on the morning of the race, so he finished sixth without really getting through the ground.
“We were in a position where we had to run him because it was the only race that was available for him and his second-up race this prep.”
Dandino is currently available at odds of $34 in the Caulfield Cup betting market at Ladbrokes Australia and is at the same quote to win the 2014 Melbourne Cup.