Leon MacDonald is hoping Dalasan can finally land a Group One race when he runs in the Makybe Diva Stakes.

“I’d love to win a Group One race with him. He deserves to and this race was always on our agenda,” MacDonald said.

He is also keen to continue the successful run of South Australians in the eastern states in September.

In the past two weeks in Melbourne, South Australian-trained horses have won feature races with Behemoth claiming the Memsie Stakes and Bella Vella the McEwen Stakes, while in Sydney Gytrash took out the Concorde Stakes.

“It would be nice to keep the winning run going but for me it’s about Dalasan winning a Group One race,” MacDonald said.

“He’s got Group One ability and he deserves to win one at that level. He’ll run very well and I’m hoping it’s a win, but it’s a deep field.”

Dalasan has contested three Group One races which have produced fifths in the Caulfield and Australian Guineas and a second in the South Australian Derby behind boom galloper and Saturday’s Flemington rival Russian Camelot.

MacDonald and co-trainer Andrew Gluyas have set the Cox Plate as their main spring goal for Dalasan.

“Ideally that’s the race we’d like to get him to so he needs to be running well to justify that plan,” MacDonald said.

MacDonald is pleased with how the four-year-old stallion has come back to racing from a brief let-up.

Dalasan finished second first-up in the Group Three Spring Stakes behind Behemoth over 1200m at Morphettville and then third in the Listed Leon MacDonald Stakes (1400m) where he started a $1.40 favourite.

MacDonald put the last-start loss down to the unsuitable Morphettville Parks track where Dalasan got back in the early stages in a slowly-run race and was caught in traffic.

“He still ran well. He came home his last 600 metres in 33.5 seconds. He pulled up well and he’ll be right on his game,” he said.

Jordan Childs will ride Dalasan on Saturday.

The MacDonald and Gluyas team will also saddle up two other runners on the program in three-year-old geldings Extra Time and So You Can.

Extra Time will run in the Danehill Stakes and MacDonald believes he can perform well.

“He had little luck at Caulfield last start as the barrier beat him as he was trapped wide all the way. It was a big effort,” MacDonald said.

“He was in front with 50 metres to go and second until near the line when he tired.”

MacDonald is also keen to see how So You Can runs in the Exford Plate (1400m) as he thinks he could be a Caulfield Guineas candidate.

“He might want a mile but we’ll find out whether he’s up to them or not,” MacDonald said.


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