Tuesday 12 December 2017

Given talks up Dandino hopes

Marcus Armytage

REWILDING, the 7/4 ante-post favourite, was among 16 horses left in at yesterday's forfeit stage for the last Classic of the season, the Ladbrokes St Leger, at Doncaster on September 11.

However, despite having seen Godolphin's colt earn his short price with an emphatic victory in York's Voltigeur last week, Lincolnshire trainer James Given said yesterday he was very happy with his own colt, Dandino, and that he had no wish to swap the 7/1 shot with any other horse.

Having finished second in the Gordon Stakes at Goodwood after winning four on the bounce, Dandino was taken out of the Voltigeur and will be coming into the race after a short break.

"He's looking magnificent," said Given, who was trying to replenish stock at Doncaster yesterday at the start of the domestic yearling sales.

"We only left him in the Voltigeur in case nothing turned up, but that wasn't the case. I was conscious of not giving him another hard race.

"Although he didn't have a hard one by his standards at Epsom, he did have quite hard races at Ascot and Goodwood.

"Obviously, I took an interest in the Voltigeur and I thought Midas Touch went to win his race but flattened out. Rewilding didn't have to do much and, winning like he did, he is either a very good horse or didn't beat much. I thought the Gordon Stakes was a better trial, though I would say that, wouldn't I?"

Dandino, which will attempt to give Given and stable jockey Paul Mulrennan their first Classic, has been the flag bearer this season, one which the trainer describes as "frustrating" because of the ratio of winners to seconds -- 20 and 33 respectively -- the stable has had.

"We've crept on to the 'cold trainers list' in the 'Racing Post' because we haven't had a winner for 20 days, but 10 of our 23 runners have been placed," he explained. "I spend a lot of time thinking about how we can turn things around.

"I thought getting in a stable jockey would help, but -- though it is no criticism of Paul because he's a big part of the team and is riding well -- it hasn't done the trick. Maybe it is just bad luck, but I can't help thinking we're missing a beat somewhere." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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