Griffith trainer Gino D’Altorio hopes Dane Slugger can add to his impressive record with him when he steps out at Narrandera on Saturday.
Dane Slugger has won three out of four starts since joining D’Altorio from Rockhampton. He started his career with Bjorn Baker after being purchased for $90,000 as a yearling.
Dane Slugger will contest the Proten L W ‘Blue’ Peacock Memorial Benchmark 55 Handicap (1200m) and D’Altorio expects him to feature prominently.
“The 1200 metres probably suits him. We’ll let him settle and work into it. We know what he can do,” D’Altorio said.
The five-year-old, owned by D’Altorio and Eric Heaton, won first-up at Hillston. He then won at Leeton before getting up on protest to make it three straight at Wagga.
Last start he was a fast-finishing fifth at Wagga.
D’Altorio has been pleasantly surprised by his form.
“We had a rough idea but didn’t know he was going to do what he’s done,” he said.
“His first run at Hillston we took him there to see what he was going to do, like a trial sort of, and were really surprised because we didn’t think he was a 1000 metre horse. And he’s not a 1000 metre horse.
“So we took him to another 1000 metre race and he did it again, then another 1000 metre race and did it again.
“Last start the horse broke down right in front of him and it cost him a couple of lengths. I won’t say it cost him the race, but it cost him a place. He then had to go 10 wide around the turn.
“He’s a big horse but I’ve never seen a horse get home so quick. So fast.
“I know he wants a bit more distance and the 1200 metres probably suits him. I think 1400 to 1600 metres, that’s his go, but while he’s going good, we’ll keep him to these distances.”
Michael Heagney retains the ride on Dane Slugger, who will start from barrier six.
D’Altorio also has Selinora and Barcoo Bill in at Narrandera on Saturday and expects both to run well.