Punters should not take too much notice of Dal Harraild’s appearance before he contests the Zipping Classic at Sandown.
The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained imported stayer runs in Saturday’s 2400m weight-for-age race and is starting to look a bit shaggy in the coat as he adjusts to the southern hemisphere.
Dal Harraild arrived in Australia from England in late September and after undergoing quarantine at Werribee, headed straight to Caulfield where he finished eighth to Yucatan in the Herbert Power Stakes before running second to Red Alto in the Bendigo Cup on October 31.
“He seems to have handled the trip quite well,” Eustace said.
“Against him is he might be starting to show signs of a long season in that his coat has gone a little bit hairy.
“It’s a bit confusing for him what time of year it is, but his work was good on Tuesday so we’re happy to press on.”
Eustace says it is not unusual for horses coming out from Europe to start to grow their winter coats depending on how they settle in to Australian conditions.
“He arrived and his coat was already on the turn,” Eustace said.
“It probably started while he was in England.
“He clearly ran well at Bendigo the other day so we’re not really fazed by it at all.”
Saturday’s performance will determine the stayer’s immediate path.
Eustace said there were some upcoming options while a spell could also be on the cards.
“It would be nice to get one under the belt,” Eustace said.
“There are a few options after Saturday, whether it’s the Perth Cup, but I would say this would be his last run and then look towards the Cups next year.”
Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Kerrin retains the ride on Saturday after the pair finished second at Bendigo.
“He knows him well but he’s a pretty straightforward horse to ride,” Eustace said.
“Everything points to him running a nice race.”
Dal Harraild shares the second line of betting with Our Libretto at $5 with The Taj Mahal the $4 favourite to the race for the second year running.