Dandino set to raid Melbourne after American success


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The Independent Online

Marco Botti is keeping his fingers crossed Ryan Moore will keep the ride on Dandino when he lines up in the Emirates Melbourne Cup at Flemington on 5 November.

Having previously enjoyed stints with James Given, Nicky Henderson and James Fanshawe, Dandino joined the Newmarket-based trainer Botti earlier this year having been purchased by Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock.

With a trip Down Under top of his agenda ever since, the six-year-old has been carefully prepared by his trainer, running well in the Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket and the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot before a lucrative triumph in the American St Leger at Arlington Park.

Botti said: "He is doing very well, I'm very happy with him and he will enter quarantine to go to Australia in the next 10 days.

"We are looking forward to going to Australia with him and he will probably run in the Caulfield Cup, if all goes well, before going to the Melbourne Cup. We are hoping that Ryan will keep the ride on him, but obviously it is hard to pin him down now for a race in early November, so we'll just have to see."

Dandino features in a tremendously strong European entry for the two-mile showpiece, with Mount Athos and Brown Panther – owned by former England footballer Michael Owen – arguably the leading hopes.

The pair, trained by Luca Cumani and Tom Dascombe respectively, are both prominent in the ante-post market for the two-mile Group One heat.

Mount Athos finished fifth in the race last year and was last seen when claiming a narrow second in a Goodwood Listed event last time, while Brown Panther triumphed in the Goodwood Cup on his most recent outing.