THE barrier draw will be the key to determining how close English galloper Dandino gets to favouritism for Saturday’s Caulfield Cup.
Raced by Ballarat district-based Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock syndicates, Dandino was yesterday a rock-solid $7 second favourite with TAB.com.au.
Hawkspur was the $4.40 favourite.
Dandino has not raced in Australia, but in his latest outing took out the American St Leger.
All reports on Dandino’s progess at the Werribee equine quarantine centre have been full of promise.
His track rider Paul Francis told Racing Victoria that drawing a gate between five and 12 would be ideal.
“The jockey’s happy with him, the trainer’s happy, the weather forecast is good and the horse is in great order,” principal part-owner Darren Dance, of ATB, said.
“We’re expecting a dry track, which he needs, and from what I’ve seen, his work has been outstanding.”
Dandino is the only European-trained runner to make the 18-horse field after the decision by the Melbourne Racing Club committee yesterday to leave the only other international acceptor Forgotten Voice among the emergencies.
The barrier draw takes place this morning after the Caulfield Cup field was finalised yesterday.
Manighar will carry the top weight of 58kg after all weights were increased by 1.5kg.
Dandino, which will have the services of Craig Williams in the saddle, will have the number two saddlecloth.
Ballarat’s Tuscan Fire shares the bottom weight (outside the emergencies) with 53kg.
Tuscan Fire takes his place in the Cup field after earning a ballot exemption when he took out the Mornington Cup early this year.
1 Manighar (Luke Nolen) 58
2 Dandino (Craig Williams) 56.5
3 Ethiopia (Rhys McLeod) 56.5
4 Waldpark (Brenton Avdulla) 56
5 Glencadam Gold (Tommy Berry) 55.5
6 Mr Moet (Hugh Bowman) 55.5
7 Fawkner (Nicholas Hall) 55
8 Jet Away (Damien Oliver) 55
9 Kelinni (Steven Arnold) 55
10 Moriarty Craig Newitt) 55
11 My Quest For Peace (Corey Brown) 55
12 Hawkspur (Jim Cassidy) 54.5
13 Julienas (Kerrin McEvoy) 54.5
14 Mr O’Ceirin (Dwayne Dunn) 54.5
15 Silent Achievers (Glen Boss) 54.5
16 Royal Descent (Nash Rawiller) 54
17 Tuscan Fire (Luke Currie) 53
18 Dear Demi (James McDonald) 53
19 Forgotten Voice (Brett Prebble) 54.5
20 Sneak A Peek 54
21 Ibicenco 54
22 Oasis Bloom 51.5
- with AAP