Armed with an unblemished fresh record, quality colt Dalasan will be out to make an early statement when he begins his latest campaign in the Manfred Stakes at Caulfield.
Dalasan is on a path to the Group One Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on February 29 and the $5 million All-Star Mile two weeks later if the colt attracts the votes to secure a spot or receives a wildcard.
The multiple Group-winning Dalasan is the early favourite to make a winning return against a small but select field in Saturday’s Group Three Manfred (1200m) which includes Caulfield Guineas winner Super Seth.
Dalasan has won fresh in his first two campaigns, including when he beat Group One winner Scales Of Justice at weight-for-age in the Spring Stakes in August.
Co-trainer Leon Macdonald is upbeat the colt can begin his latest campaign in a similar vein and in the process sway All-Star Mile voters his way.
“He’s undefeated first-up,” Macdonald said.
“He beat Scales Of Justice in the Spring Stakes so I suppose that makes the form stack up a bit, doesn’t it?
“He’s in good condition. We’re very happy with the way he’s worked.
“He’s done everything asked of him and I’m confident he’ll run well.”
Three-year-olds from near and far are being aimed at the Australian Guineas and Macdonald is happy to pit his stable star against them.
He is also looking further into the autumn and the Sydney carnival.
Dalasan sits behind Queenslander Alligator Blood, New Zealand star Catalyst and Super Seth in a market for the Australian Guineas, with all four scheduled to clash in the C S Hayes Stakes on February 15.
“He’s beaten older horses at weight-for-age. He’s won the Danehill at Group Two. So he stacks up there all right,” Macdonald said.
“I thought he probably should have won the Guineas Prelude and he still ran well in the Guineas but it probably finished up a bit of a non-event.
“The wide run didn’t work, going forward probably never worked and the blinkers probably never worked. He still ran fifth and just the last little bit he probably wilted a bit when he was entitled to.
“Having said that I think Alligator Blood is a very good horse, there’s no doubt about that.
“I’m confident he (Dalasan) is there to be a major player for sure.”