Danehill Stakes To Determine Spring Path For Danuki

Danuki is set to contest the 2015 Danehill Stakes at Flemington this weekend and trainer Clinton McDonald has revealed that the Group 2 event could determine the path that the talented colt will follow for the rest of the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival.

Chris Parnham has been booked to ride Danuki in the 2015 Danehill Stakes at Flemington on Saturday. Photo by: Adrienne Bicknell

Chris Parnham has been booked to ride Danuki in the 2015 Danehill Stakes at Flemington on Saturday. Photo by: Adrienne Bicknell

Danuki has never raced at a greater distance than 1200 metres and his breeding suggests that he would likely be at his best over sprinting trips, but McDonald believes that the relaxed nature of the son of Exceed And Excel could give him the chance to run out a strong mile in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 11.

“I think there will be a lot of questions answered on Saturday for a lot of horses,” McDonald told Racing Ahead.

“This will point us in the right direction for the rest of the spring.

“He is such a relaxed horse that is a half a chance of getting to the mile just because of his mannerisms and the way that he goes about it.

“He is a horse that can relax on speed and you have seen those horses like Choisir and Starspangledbanner that can run well in a Caulfield Guineas.”

Danuki made his racing debut with a comfortable victory at Donald on March 27 and he finished second in the VOBIS Gold Ingot at Caulfield on April 18 before he returned to racing with a tough third behind Well Sprung in the Listed McKenzie Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on August 22.

McDonald believes that the three-year-old has trained on strongly coming out of the McKenzie Stakes and he is confident that the application of blinkers can help Danuki produce an improved effort in the Danehill Stakes on Saturday.

“He has come on really well,” McDonald said.

“He needed that run under his belt as we thought and we thought that he ran really well.

“He probably blew out at the 60 metre mark, but I thought he held-up second well from the third and fourth horses.

“We have gone forward, we are looking forward to the 1200, we have put a set of blinkers on him and it has really sharpened him up nicely.

“He has improved and we are looking forward to Saturday.

“He is such a relaxed horse and he is probably a bit laidback for his own good sometime.

“Even in his trackwork he only ever does what has to and that is why he was probably a little underdone first-up, but he has done a couple of nice pieces of work.

“He worked on the course proper this morning and he worked really well.

“We are really happy with him.”

The 2015 Danehill Stakes field will be released tomorrow and Danuki is set to take on the likes of Headwater, Ready For Victory, Well Sprung and Odyssey Moon in the Group 2 event this weekend.

About The Author

Thomas Hackett

Thomas is a passionate and opinionated racing journalist and punter who has been obsessed with horse racing since he backed Saintly to win the 1996 Melbourne Cup. An international racing enthusiast, he has his finger on the pulse of racing news not just from Australia but all around the world.

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