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Hopes are high for the Dandos

Guns At Five wins the listed Agrodome Rotorua Plate - Photo NZTM website
Guns At Five wins the listed Agrodome Rotorua Plate

Photo NZTM website

Bradbury Park owners Casey and Michelle Dando are looking forward to November and with good reason.

"It's going to be a big month. In the space of a week, we may have two live chances in group races at Riccarton and a cracking Keeper colt in the Ready to Run Sale. I know it's a pipedream but if we pull off the group double, I'll think I'm better than Sir Patrick Hogan," Casey Dando enthused.

The reason for all this enthusiasm is threefold. Guns At Five (Duelled[AUS]-Accidentallyinlove) is heading for the New Zealand Cup after impressively winning the listed Agrodome Rotorua Plate; his half-sister Fantastic Honour (Any Suggestions[AUS]) is on track for a tilt at the group one One Thousand Guineas, and their close relation and full brother to Sworn to Secrecy – a Keeper (AUS) – Heartache colt ran a scorching breeze up in preparation for the New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run Sale.

"The Keeper colt - a full brother to the group two Emancipation Stakes winner Sworn to Secrecy – is a little rocket and he obviously has some family ability as he recorded a breeze up time of under 10 seconds, it's a real buzz just a couple of days after Guns At Five's win at Rotorua.

"That was a huge thrill and the style in which he won at weight-for-age was pretty impressive. I didn't think he would be ready to win over 1950 with only a 1400 metre race under his belt, and neither did Chris Wood his trainer," he said.

"Fantastic Honour is working well and the Schailers tell me she is on track for the Wellington Guineas and then on to Riccarton for the One Thousand Guineas. This is what keeps us in the game."

Guns At Five is now the winner of eight races. He won five races as a four-year old including the listed St Leger, before running fifth in the group two Chairman's Handicap at Randwick. He campaigned unsuccessfully as a spring five-year-old in Australia, but made amends by winning the Wairoa Cup and the Nathans Handicap in the late summer. He has had two starts this campaign.

Fantastic Honour won twice at two before running second in the group three Eclipse Stakes and the listed Karaka Million at Ellerslie. She was put aside after that race and in two starts this campaign has run second in the listed Fordell O'Leary Fillies Stakes at Wanganui and fourth in the group three Gold Trail Stakes at Hawkes Bay.

"Guns At Five was sold as a weanling for $12,000 to help the cash flow along. We kept the second foal Third Rate Romance and now she is safely in foal to Any Suggestion (AUS). The Shailers have bought the last two fillies from the mare, Fantastic Honour and the two-year-old by Don Eduardo. Fantastic Honour was one out of the box from day one and as a yearling she weighed 550kgs. The Don Eduardo is not overly big and she has been broken in and put aside.

"Accidentallyinlove has a yearling colt by Perfectly Ready(AUS) and has just foaled a cracking colt to Redwood(GB), and she will visit Reliable Man(GB)."

Accidentallyinlove is by Cape Cross and is the first foal of Heartache, a Casual Lies (USA) mare out of Chaleyer(AUS) a Covetous(AUS) mare who won five races including the AJC St Leger and the Adrian Knox Stakes. She was also placed in the Sydney Cup, the Kingstown Town Stakes twice, the Chairman's Handicap and the VRC Oaks and Canterbury Guineas.
Heartache was part owned by the Dandos as a racehorse and after foaling Accidentallyinlove, whom he kept with his cousin Gary, he put the mare in foal to Shinko King and sold her.

"I put Acidentallyinlove in work with Royce Dowling and Linda Laing and after her first prep Royce asked me if I still owned the mare? When I said I had sold her he told me to go and buy her back again.
"So I did and she ended up costing a little bit more than I had sold her for so my mother Glenice decided to come in on her as well. It's taken a little while but it now looks like that investment was worth it," he said.

Dando bought the mare back in foal to Cullen and that foal was One Nite Stand, a stakes-placed winner of seven races, and the Shinko King foal she was carrying was Tenko who won three races and was placed in the Champagne Stakes. Earlier this year Dando purchased a two-year-old Keeper filly out of Tenko and called Hot Pants, she is in work with the Schailers.

"We own that filly on our own, and she will be another to add to the broodmare band," he added.
The broodmare band at Bradbury Park is a pretty tight unit, with most of the mares descending from the same family or having some sentimental attachment to the Dandos like Bemuze and her daughter Zoe Quin.

"Bemuze was bred and raced by my mother. She won three races and was out of the Matamata Cup winner Mezmerize (Marceau-Zamareign). It's the old man's family and I will never get out of that," added Dando who lost his father when he was just 13.

"She is the dam of the Maz Quin (D'Cash) who won six races. He was placed in the group three Cambridge Breeders' Stakes, before going to Hong Kong and racing as Regency Dragon and placing in a group two and a group three race up there. His half sister Zoe Quin won four races before we sent her to stud. We sold her first foal by Road to Rock as a weanling and he resold at Karaka last summer for $65,000.

"Zoe Quin has just foaled a colt to Nadeem and will visit Tavistock. We are also racing Agent Siva (Savabeel[AUS]) out of Bemuze. She has won four races and we hope to get some black type with her this season before sending her to stud next year. She is in Karen Fursdon's stable along with another of Bemuze's foals High Viz (Perfectly Ready[AUS]) who is showing a bit of promise."

Bemuze has also left Themoneyzmine(O'Reilly) who has won four races and Nga Tim (Kashani[USA]) a winner of two in Macau. Her two-year-old colt by Don Eduardo is also in the Ready to Run Sale next month.

Heartache has failed to hold a service for the past couple of seasons, but fingers crossed this year she will hold to Keeper.

Dando is also breeding from She's Invincible (Elusive City[USA]- Vinci), from the family of Seachange, and she has just foaled a filly to Showcasing and will visit Reliable Man, and he recently acquired Sister, a Reset (AUS) mare from Might and Power's family, who is safely in foal to Redwood.

Dando sent Sister to Redwood to get the Zabeel/High Chaparral cross, and now Reset has left a Caulfield Cup winner that will add to her value too. If Fawkner (Reset –Dane Belltar) goes on to win the Melbourne Cup it could be a huge November for Dando and the team at Bradbury Park.

- Michelle Saba


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