Managing co-owner Darren Dance has confirmed that Damien Oliver has been booked to ride Dandino in the Group 1 Hong Kong Vase (2400m) at Sha Tin on December 8.
Dandino was ridden by Craig Williams when he flashed home late to finish second behind Fawkner in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) and was partnered by leading English jockey Ryan Moore in the 2013 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington last Tuesday.
Moore was criticised for his ride on Dandino, his second straight questionable performance in the Melbourne Cup after his poor ride on Mount Athos in the 2012 edition of race, and Dance said last week that the ride on the Dansili entire was up for grabs.
The founder of Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock told TVN this morning that Melbourne Cup winning jockey Damien Oliver had secured the ride on Dandino in the $2 million race and said that it was a phone call to trainer Marco Botti that got him over the line.
“Marco watched the Melbourne Cup several times and commented to me what a good ride Ollie rode on Fiorente,” Dance said.
“And then when Ollie rang for the ride it all came together.”
Dandino will be returning to Hong Kong for the second time in as many years after he finished seventh behind Red Cadeaux in the 2012 Hong Kong Vase – his final race start under the care of former trainer James Fanshawe.
The six-year-old looks to have improved under the care of Botti, whose stable he joined after he was purchased by Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock, and his fifth place finish in the Melbourne Cup was the first time he missed the placings this year.
He started his 2013 racing season with a narrow second behind Universal in the Group 2 Qatar Bloodstock Jockey Club Stakes (2414m) at Newmarket in May and finished an unlucky second in the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes (2414m) during the 2013 Royal Ascot meeting.
The well-travelled stayer was taken to the United States and gave Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock their second straight win in the American St Leger Stakes before coming to Melbourne for his successful 2013 Spring Racing Carnival campaign.
The 2013 Hong Kong Vase is set be a mini Melbourne Cup rematch; with Red Cadeaux, Dunaden, Simenon, Mount Athos and Voleuse De Coeurs all a chance to contest the Group 1 event.