Star jockey Craig Williams has given Dandino a glowing report after partnering his Caulfield Cup mount in a workout at the Werribee quarantine centre.
The English stayer galloped on Sunday morning with Toorak Handicap-bound stablemate Guest Of Honour, ridden by Damien Oliver, and the Andrew Balding-trained Van Percy who had Kerrin McEvoy aboard.
The Marco Botti-trained Dandino, runner-up in last year’s Caulfield Cup, led out Guest Of Honour and Van Percy in the 1400m workout before they moved up either side of him at the business end of the gallop.
The trio went to the post almost level-pegging, pleasing their respective jockeys.
It was the second time Williams has been on Dandino since the horse arrived in Melbourne last Saturday and said he was delighted with the way the horse felt.
“He travelled really strongly and two weeks out from the Caulfield Cup he’s going really nicely,” Williams said.
“I couldn’t have been happier with him. He’s very enthusiastic. I love the way he felt. I had plenty of horse there and he wasn’t asked to do anything.”
Williams rode Dandino in last year’s Caulfield Cup when he charged home from back in the field to finish 1-1/4 lengths behind Fawkner before his fifth in the Melbourne Cup with Ryan Moore aboard.
Oliver rides Guest Of Honour in Saturday’s Group One Toorak (1600m) and was also pleased after his first ride on the last-start winner of the Group Two Summer Mile at Ascot in July.
“Both him and Dandino I think are in good form,” Oliver said.
“They are nice and bright and travelled well. They worked keenly and went to the line with a little bit in hand I think, which is important.”
Oliver said Botti’s assistant Paul Francis reported Guest Of Honour had thrived since arriving.
“He’s actually put on weight so I think that’s important going into a big race in that sort of condition rather than losing weight and trying to put it back on,” Oliver said.
“He’ll probably do another piece of work before the weekend and I expect him to come on even more after that piece of work.”
McEvoy, meanwhile, said he was looking forward to riding Van Percy in Saturday’s Herbert Power Stakes (2400m).
Van Percy needs to win the Herbert Power to gain a Caulfield Cup start.
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