Darren Weir’s amazing Flemington carnival has continued with Dandino providing the Melbourne Cup-winning trainer with another feature win.
Dandino missed out on a Melbourne Cup start but gained a consolation with a 1-3/4 length win in Saturday’s Group Three Queen’s Cup (2600m).
Weir prepared Prince Of Penzance to win the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday, the biggest win of Victoria’s premier trainer’s career.
“It’s taken a bit of coming down from, but that’s got us back up there again,” Weir said.
Weir said it was satisfying to win with nine-year-old entire Dandino who came to him after a suspensory injury ruled him out of last year’s Caulfield Cup when he was trained by Marco Botti.
“He came to us with a pretty significant injury and there’s a lot of people I need to thank,” Weir said.
“(Managing owner) Darren Dance asked me if I was prepared to give it a go, and I said with a horse like that I was happy to give it a crack.
“We got the Ballarat vet clinic involved. So they need to be thanked a lot because they’ve kept a close eye on the leg the whole way along.”
The trainer admitted he thought Dandino might have had the edge on Prince Of Penzance going towards the Melbourne Cup, but was certainly not complaining.
“When he ran in the Geelong Cup, the plan was to try to win at Geelong to hopefully get a penalty and sneak into the Cup,” Weir said.
“He had every chance at Geelong but wasn’t good enough.
“But this is a nice back-up.”
Dandino earned connections a $100,000 bonus on offer for any horse balloted out of the Melbourne Cup which went on to win the Queen’s Cup.
Ridden by Ben Melham, Dandino settled fourth and tracked favourite Secret Number before making his winning run on the outside in the straight.
Secret Number appeared to be hampered as Dandino got to the front before scoring by 1-3/4 lengths over the Godolphin horse who James McDonald said had every chance.
Bold Sniper, who is owned by the Queen, finished last in the seven-horse field.