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Dandino ready for the race of his life
Mathew Toogood
17:36 AEST Mon Nov 4 2013

A favourable barrier draw for Dandino and a slashing last-start Caulfield Cup second has raised hopes of an even greater result in Australia's most famous race.

The Marco Botti-trained Dandino powered home to finish runner-up to Fawkner in the Caulfield Cup at his Australian debut.

That indicated to syndicator and part-owner Darren Dance the 3200 metres of the Melbourne Cup was within the seven-year-old's capabilities.

The Botti-trained Jakkalberry, who also races in the colours of Dance's Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock, was third in last year's Melbourne Cup and Dandino has followed a similar path.

"We brought Dandino out really trained up for the Caulfield Cup and as luck turned out he travelled super, and everyone saw the run," Dance said.

"He was second last on the corner and ran the fastest last 200 metres, the fastest last 2000 metres - a blinder of a Melbourne Cup trial I thought.

"There's a little doubt over the two miles, but this horse has gone to a new level under the training of Marco Botti."

Dandino won the American St Leger over 2716m at his final start before heading to Australia for the Cups and Dance said the horse's strong finish at Caulfield had given him confidence.

"Especially now we've drawn barrier four," he said.

"He won't have to do a lot of work for the first six to eight hundred metres in that race, and then it is just going to be up to (jockey) Ryan Moore to try and weave his magic to see if we can beat everyone else."

The Ryan Moore `magic' was on display at the Breeders' Cup meeting in America over the weekend when the star jockey rode a double including the Breeders' Cup Turf on the Aidan O'Brien-trained Magician.

Dance said he would be disappointed if the horse did not finish in the top six.

"We can't have the horse any better," he said.

"It looks like we're going to get a firm track. We've got a good gate. A good rider. It's the hardest Melbourne Cup field, probably the most even. There's 13 Group One winners. We're not a Group One winner yet, but let's hope we are after Tuesday."