By Ray Hickson
Trainer Tim Martin wants to find out quickly if blueblood colt Danawi is as good as he thinks he is.
That’s the simple reason the three-year-old was scratched from a midweek race at Warwick Farm this week, where he was a dominant favourite, to contest the Winter Racing Handicap (1200m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Danawi is nominated for the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) next month and Martin had a plan in place to get him there.
But that was thrown out the window when the colt was a late scratching from his intended return at Canterbury on July 25 after he threw Hugh Bowman off behind the gates and broke away.
“I did plan to run him at Canterbury then this Saturday so he is a run behind now,’’ Martin said.
“He was going to have the 10 day back up then go to the Up And Coming but if he raced at Warwick Farm it would be two and a half weeks.
Danawi's debut second to The Autumn Sun at Randwick on April 25
“I didn’t think this race was that much stronger (than Wednesday) and it will raise his prizemoney a bit more.
“If he can win it he can go to the Up And Coming Stakes and if he doesn’t he’s not good enough to go there.’’
The Group 3 Up And Coming Stakes (1300m) is run at Randwick on August 18.
Danawi, by former star sprinter Exceed And Excel, who Martin also trained, from Group 1 winning mare Secret Admirer, is the clear $2.80 favourite with TAB to make a winning return and Adam Hyeronimus, who rode him on debut, is back in the saddle.
It’s easy to forget that Danawi was the $2.50 favourite at his only start and bumped into subsequent Group 1 winner The Autumn Sun at Randwick back on Anzac Day.
So there’s no reason for Martin to fear what he faces on Saturday but, despite having a decent opinion of his colt, he said you should always respect your opposition.
“It will be interesting to see how he lines up against them, I think he’s good enough but you only find out by racing,’’ he said.
“He’ll be on the pace, that’s the way to ride him and I’ll be disappointed if he doesn’t at least run in the first three.’’
The Autumn Sun is the $6 TAB favourite in the Golden Rose, run on September 22, while Danawi is on the $26 line.