Dandino bids to follow in Jakkalberry's hoofprints on SaturdayPICTURE: HKJC
Botti follows tried-and- tested path with Dandino
Preview: USA, Saturday 9.52pm BST
Arlington Park: American St Leger Stakes 1m5½f, turf, 3yo+
MARCO BOTTI, who saddled Jakkalberry to win the inaugural running of this race 12 months ago, is following precisely the same path with Dandino (Ryan Moore).
Like his now sidelined stablemate, the six-year-old is being readied longer term for a tilt at the Emirates Melbourne Cup for his owners Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock, whose colours were carried into third at Flemington by Jakkalberry after his Chicago triumph.
Although Dandino is winless in nearly 12 months since last year's September Stakes on the all-weather, he can boast a string of performances that put him right among the favourites in this $400,000 contest, not yet eligible for graded status.
Since joining Botti from James Fanshawe, he has posted a couple of solid second-placed efforts in the Jockey Club Stakes and the Hardwicke, form which explains why he is favourite both on the Arlington morning line and with British bookmakers at around the 2-1 mark.
Jamie Spencer has the leg-up on Arlington regular Wigmore Hall (Michael Bell), running at this meeting for the fourth consecutive year, having finished second in the Secretariat Stakes three years ago and then fourth and seventh in the Million.
Winner of the Grade 1 Northern Dancer Stakes at Woodbine for the last two seasons, this one-paced six-year-old has never before run at this sort of distance but has shaped for some time as if the step up might suit, including when third last time in the Sky Bet York Stakes.
Heading the home team is Dark Cove (Mike Maker/Joel Rosario), who comes in off a hat-trick in graded stakes at this 1m4f trip.