Managing co-owner Darren Dance has confirmed that Dandino will run in the 2014 Caulfield Cup after arriving in the first shipment of European-trained horses that are set to arrive in Australia on September 27.
Dance said last week that the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) would be the only 2014 Spring Racing Carnival start for Dandino, but he indicated on Monday that the Caulfield Cup was back on the agenda for the son of Dansili after he finished fourth in the Group 3 September Stakes (2414m) at Kempton Park on Saturday.
The Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock owner told TVN this morning that he had a lengthy discussion with trainer Marco Botti last night and they made the decision to give Dandino the opportunity to go one better than he did when second in the Caulfield Cup last year.
“Marco said ‘this is his last trip to Australia, it’s a long way to come for one race we might as well come for both and take our chance in the Caulfield Cup again’,” Dance said.
“Marco thinks the horse is at the top of his game again and deserves his chance in the race.”
Dandino made his Australian racing debut with a second place finish behind Fawkner in the Caulfield Cup (2400m) last year before he made up plenty of ground late to finish fifth behind Fiorente in the Melbourne Cup.
The seven-year-old has failed to reproduce that sort of form during his racing season to date, producing disappointing performances in the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes (2414m) and Group 2 Princess Of Wales’s Stakes (2414m) before failing to defend his title in the Listed American St Leger Stakes (2714m), but Dance believes the talented entire produced an improved performance when fourth in the September Stakes on Saturday.
“The problem at Kempton was the lack of speed and they really only sprinted the last 600 metres,” Dance said.
“Marco thought he hit the line really well.”
Dandino was one of three Botti-trained stayers that were included in the 2014 Caulfield Cup first acceptances, with Seismos and Renew still a chance to contest the Group 1 event at Caulfield on October 11.
Lucia Valentina and The Offer are currently favourites in the 2014 Caulfield Cup betting market with Ladbrokes Australia at a quote of $15, while Dandino is available at Caulfield Cup odds of $26.