International Melbourne Cup contender Dandino will start in the American St Leger (2700m) next month before heading to Melbourne for his Spring Carnival campaign.
Owners Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock have decided to follow the same path as they did with Jakkalberry last year who won the American St Leger before going on to finish third in the Melbourne Cup (3200m).
The Marco Botti-trained entire was expected to contest the Princess of Wales Stakes at Newmarket this week but Darren Dance, Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock Director, confirmed that following the Jakkalberry path was always the plan for the six-year-old.
“The plan was always to go straight from the Hardwicke to the Arlington race, the same as Jakkalberry last year,” Dance told TVN.
“He’ll run in the (American) St Leger then return to England, be freshened up and then come to Melbourne in September.”
Dance added that Dandino would be joined on the flight to Melbourne by Jakkalberry and both would run first-up in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).
Dandino was purchased by Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock to be a cups contender in March of this year and has impressed in both subsequent appearances at the races.
The son of Dansili finished a narrow runner-up to Universal in the Group 2 Qatar Bloodstock Jockey Club Stakes (2414m) before finishing second behind Thomas Chippendale in the Hardwicke Stakes (2414m) during the Royal Ascot Meeting, where he finished ahead of fellow Melbourne Cup aspirant Mount Athos.
The Hardwicke Stakes has been a key lead-up race to the Melbourne Cup in recent years with place getters Fiorente and Jakkalberry coming through the race last year as well as Caulfield Cup winner Dunaden, Red Cadeaux and My Quest For Peace.