Managing co-owner Darren Dance has revealed that Dandino is recovering well from the suspensory ligament injury he suffered in the lead-up to the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400) and he remains hopeful that the imported stayer can return to racing during the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival.
Dandino returned to Australia in September last year to contest both the Caulfield Cup and the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m), after finishing second and fifth respectively last year, but he was ruled out of both races due to injury and there were concerns that the racing career of the Dansili entire was over.
Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock revealed at the end of last year that Dandino would remain in Australia under the care of leading Victorian trainer Darren Weir and Dance told Sky Racing HQ this morning that the eight-year-old was almost halfway through a 16 week rehabilitation program at Weir’s Ballarat-based stable.
“Before the Caulfield Cup he suffered a minor injury to his suspensory and we had to stop unfortunately because he was going super the horse,” Dance said.
“In the ensuring through weeks we decided that given he is a firm track horse there was really no point sending him back to the UK and we may as well keep him here and set him up and see if we can get him right for 2015.
“He is in at Ballarat and he has been in for just on five weeks now.
“We go through an extensive rehab program with him, there is a 16 week program where they gradually build up their work and they spend a lot of time on the treadmill there.
“He is under the close supervision of Darren’s foreman as well as the Ballarat Veterinary clinic and we are just building the work up gradually.
“At some point he will have a break and then go to Warrnambool and go into a normal preparation.”
Dance believes that there is no point bringing Dandino back for an autumn campaign and the Weir stable will instead build the strength of the entire up slowly ahead of a spring campaign.
Dandino’s new stablemate Puissance De Lune went through the same rehabilitation program when he suffered a tendon injury after finishing 12th in the 2013 edition of the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) and Dance is taking confidence from the way that the Shamardal entire was able to return to racing during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
“No Autumn, there is no point,” Dance said.
“We don’t want to rush him, he is too good a horse, he has been a great horse to us and we want to do the right thing by the horse.
“We will just take our time and if there is any hint of any issue he will be retired immediately.
“We have compared Dandino to the issues that they had with Puissance De Lune last year and they are of the opinion that it is nowhere near as severe as what Puissance De Lune had and they were able to get him back through this program with moderate success.
“I am bias, but I think that Dandino is a little bit of a superior horse to Puissance De Lune.
“I think we certainly have a chance to get him back for the right races.”