Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock-owned Dandino is set to remain in Australia and join the stable of leading Victoria trainer Darren Weir.
Dandino was ruled out of both the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) and Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) due to a soft tissue injury and there was plenty of speculation that the talented stayer would be retired to stand at stud, but Sky Racing’s Andrew Bensley confirmed this morning that the entire was on the road to recovery and had joined the Weir stable to begin preparations for a return to racing.
“It’s been decided that Dandino will stay in Victoria to race,” Bensley posted on Twitter.
Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock confirming that Darren Weir will train.
“Returned to work yesterday.”
Dandino made his racing debut in October of 2009 under the care of James Given in the United Kingdom and he was given an opportunity at the highest level of racing as a three-year-old; finishing second in the Group 3 Gordon Stakes (2414m) and eighth in the Group 1 Ladbrokes St Leger Stakes (2935m) before he was sent to Japan for a tilt at the Group 1 Japan Cup (2412m).
The entire recorded his maiden win at Group level when he took out the Group 2 Jockey Club Stakes (2414m) at Newmarket in April of 2011 and he was transferred to the stable of James Fanshawe at the end of the 2011 racing season.
Dandino recorded his first race win for Fanshawe in the Group 3 September Stakes (2414m) at Kempton Park in 2012 and he finished a close second behind Joshua Tree in the Group 1 Canadian International Stakes (2413m) at Woodbine before finished seventh behind Red Cadeaux in the Group 1 Hong Kong Vase (2400m).
Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock purchased Dandino after his Hong Kong Vase run and he performed well without winning for his new owners in the Group 2 Jockey Club Stakes (2414m) and Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes (2414m) in England before he gave them a second straight win in the American St Leger Stakes (2714m).
Dandino made his Australian racing debut in the Caulfield Cup on October 19 and he stormed home late to finish second behind Fawkner before he made up plenty of ground late to finish fifth in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup at Flemington.
The seven-year-old failed to replicate that form during the 2014 racing season, but was still brought to Australia before injury ended his cups campaign.
Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock are yet to work out an autumn path for Dandino, but races like the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m), Group 1 The BMW (2400m) and Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) could all prove attractive targets for the talented galloper if he is able to return to his best form.