Irish import Dawn Patrol commences his spring campaign that owners Lloyd and Nick Williams hope will ultimately provide them another Melbourne Cup win.
Dawn Patrol runs for the first time on Australian soil in the Group 2 Feehan Stakes (1600m) at The Valley on Saturday having arrived in the country five weeks ago.
A former member of the Aidan O’Brien stable before joining Joseph O’Brien, Dawn Patrol has been under the care of Robert Hickmott at Macedon Lodge for the past three weeks.
Nick Williams said Dawn Patrol and stablemate Cormorant, who runs in the Ladbroke It! Handicap (1600m) on Saturday, had settled in well at “the farm” but head into their races possibly underdone.
Dawn Patrol and Cormorant both did their quarantine at Mickleham which has no training facilities, but Williams said both horses had a good fitness base on them before departing for Australia.
“This weekend is a weekend we traditionally like to use for our horses in the spring,” Williams told RSN.
“It’s a day when the races suit our horses in the way they are trained.
“We’re just hopeful, more than anything that Dawn Patrol and Cormorant will run well.
“They’re in good order, whether they are ready for it, we’ll know on Saturday night.”
Concerning for Williams is the predicted rainfall that could hit The Valley circuit.
The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting 20-30mm on Friday and up to 10mm on Saturday.
“The track conditions are going to play a part,” Williams said.
“You might need Dawn Fraser rather than Dawn Patrol to win out there on Saturday if the weather forecast is right.”
Jye McNeil, who rode Twilight Payment to win the Melbourne Cup for Team Williams, has the ride on both horses on Saturday.