French import Darbadar will make his Australian racing debut in the WeDrive.Com.Au Handicap (1600m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday and trainer Saab Hasan is thrilled to get the talented galloper to the races.
Darbadar made his racing debut in France in 2013 under the care of Melbourne Cup winner trainer Mikel Delzangles with a fourth place finish at Saint Cloud and he finished second in the Prix Carmarthen (2200m) at Clairefontaine before he recorded his maiden race win with an impressive victory in the Prix De Villevert (2400m) at Chantilly on August 31.
The Danehill Dancer entire was given a maiden opportunity at Group level in the Prix Chaudenay (3000m) at Longchamp last October and he finished a close fourth before finishing fifth behind the talented Norse King in the Group 2 Prix Du Consiel De Paris (2400m) at the same venue on October 20.
Darbadar was purchased by Glenlogan Stud owner John Haseler and the leading breeder/owner elected to give the four-year-old to Hasan to trainer after the rising trainer had some success with veteran import Viola Ici.
Hasan said that he was delighted to be given the opportunity to trainer a horse with the upside of Darbadar and he told Racing Victoria that he has put a great deal of hands-on work into the entire before he makes his Australian racing debut at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
“He’s basically looking for a small, hands-on trainer who could put a bit of time into Darbadar,” Hasan said.
“He wanted someone that wasn’t going to push the horse and just work with him and get the best out of him and I believe we’ve done that so far.”
I haven’t gone away and every day I’ve been there to touch the horse and supervise his training.
“We don’t get many opportunities like that.
“A lot of horses come to us as turn-around horses, but this one we haven’t had to turn around. We’ve just had to point him in the right direction.
“He’s one of the most exciting horses I’ve trained, that’s for sure.”
Hasan does not expect Darbadar to make a winning start to his racing career in Australia and he believes that the WeDrive.Com.Au Handicap (1600m) will prove too short for the promising stayer.
The Flemington-based trainer does not have any immediate plans with Darbadar, but he is confident that the imported galloper has the talent to be competitive at the highest level of racing during the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival and he revealed that the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) was the long range goal for Darbadar.
“He’s never raced below 2000 metres, so I obviously don’t want to be putting my neck out and saying the horse can win, but by all means he will run well even though he might find it a bit short.
“He’s dead-set a Melbourne Cup horse.
“I don’t know if he’s good enough to win a Melbourne Cup, but he definitely will be on a Melbourne Cup preparation next year.”
Hasan has two runners in the WeDrive.Com.Au Handicap field and Darbadar will take on his stablemate Appoint.