Lindsay Park co-trainer Tom Dabernig has described the stable’s Kiwi import Fanatic as “rock hard fit” ahead of her two mile test in Saturday’s Listed $150,000 Ladbrokes Sandown Cup (3200m).
A key support act on the Zipping Classic Day card at Ladbrokes Park to see out the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, this season’s Sandown Cup field attracted just the eight stayers.
Jockey Michael Walker retains the ride on New Zealand Group 1 winner Fanatic, the well-bred daughter of 2009 Melbourne Cup winner Shocking drawn in gate two.
As a three-year-old across the Tasman, Fanatic won the Group 1 NZ Oaks (2400m) defeating subsequent ATC Oaks winner Sofia Rosa in March of 2016.
The now five-year-old has won just twice since including breaking her maiden status last time out at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day in the $120,000 Ronald McDonald House Charities Plate (2800m).
Looking to strike while the iron is hot, Dabernig confirmed the team were quietly confident stepping Fanatic back up in grade and distance for the Sandown Cup bid.
The mare has twice been tested over the 3200m distance when a close fourth in the Group 3 Wellington Cup back in January and a sixth in the Group 1 Auckland Cup in March.
She has been racing with Dabernig, David & Ben Hayes since August with other notable runs being her sixth in the Group 2 Ladbrokes Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) and eighth in the Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m).
Dabernig, nephew of co-trainer and Hall of Famer David Hayes, said the initial disappointment with the unplaced Geelong Cup effort was quickly forgiven after Fanatic was found to have been in season for the run.
“So that’s what we put that performance down to,” Dabernig told AAP.
“Then on Cup Day she was smothered up and came through the field and really won well.
“She has come through that race well and she’s rock-hard fit.
“Her action is great and she’s quite a tough sort of mare so I would have to think she would be a good chance [on Saturday].”
Betting on the Sandown Cup at Ladbrokes.com.au currently list Fanatic at $3.90 with only Gallic Chieftain ($2.40) shorter in the markets.
Darren Weir prepares imported Tamayuz entire Gallic Chieftain who finished ahead of Fanatic in both the Herbert Power and Geelong Cup running third and second respectively.
The galloper raced last Saturday on Emirates Stakes Day at Flemington in the Group 3 $300,000 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) running fifth to Vengeur Masque who came off a Geelong Cup win.
Gallic Chieftain goes up from 54kg last weekend to 57.5kg this weekend, while Fanatic carries 55kg.
Market order for the Sandown Cup field at Ladbrokes.com.au: Gallic Chieftain ($2.40), Fanatic ($3.90), Swacadelic ($4.20), Doukhan ($7.50), Havana Cooler ($11), Darabad ($26), O’Couney ($26) Zoffany Rose ($34).