European-trained stayer Dandino has been one of the favourites for the 2013 Melbourne Cup since he flew home late to finish second in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) just under a fortnight ago but managing co-owner Darren Dance admits that he has concerns over the Dansili entire’s ability to run a strong 3200 metres.
Dandino has recorded the majority of his eight career victories over 2400 metres and was unsuccessful when stepped-up in distance in the 2010 Group 1 Ladbrokes St Leger Stakes (2935m), the Group 2 Lonsdale Cup (3299m) and the Listed Further Flight Stakes (2830m) in the United Kingdom.
He recorded an impressive victory over 2714 metres in the American St Leger Stakes at Arlington in his final race start before coming to Australia but Dance said there are still major question marks over the Caulfield Cup runner-up’s ability to stay the trip in the 2013 Melbourne Cup at Flemington next Tuesday.
“The horses 2400m form is superior, his last ten goes over it have had a couple of wins and eight placings,” Dance told TVN.
“He has had three goes over 3000m or further in his career, going back two years plus, and he has failed every time.
“Honestly if he draws a gate and gets nice cover he might be a chance to run out the two miles.”
Despite concerns about his staying credentials, Dandino has continued to impress at the International Equine Centre in Werribee and remains well-placed in 2013 Melbourne Cup betting markets at odds of $12.
Dandino was one of the standouts performers of the European-trained 2013 Melbourne Cup hopefuls this morning and even impressed racing personality Francesca Cumani, who assists in the preparation of well-backed Melbourne Cup runner Mount Athos, with his strong piece of work.
“Dandino I thought he looked great,” Cumani said.
“He is such a lovely, big, strong looking horse.
He’s such a professional, travelled a lot, and knows what he is doing.”
Dance confirmed that Dandino had come out of the Caulfield Cup in excellent condition and will go into the 2013 Melbourne Cup with every chance of recording his maiden Group 1 win – if he can stay the trip.
“The way he has pulled up you wouldn’t even know he has run in the Caulfield Cup,” Dance said.
“He is in outstanding order we have had our vets going over him every second day; he is a happy horse.”
Dandino will be trainer Marco Botti’s second runner in the Melbourne Cup after Jakkalberry finished an impressive third behind Green Moon in last year’s race.