The first stakes race of the new season in Melbourne boasts two Hong Kong Group One placegetters with Dibayani and Smart Volatility entered for the Group Three Aurie’s Star Handicap at Flemington.
After beginning his career in Ireland, Dibayani went to Hong Kong where he failed to win in six starts but chased home some big names including Able Friend, Designs On Rome, Blazing Speed and Military Attack.
Smart Volatility, twice placed at the highest level behind Peniaphobia, is now with John Sargent in Sydney and won the Ramornie Handicap at his second Australian start.
Dibayani showed early potential last spring in Melbourne in his first preparation with Lindsay Park.
His form included a first-up third behind Mourinho and The Cleaner in the P B Lawrence Stakes and a third in the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes at Moonee Valley.
Dibayani’s autumn campaign was confined to Sydney where his best performance was second to champion mare Winx in the Chipping Norton Stakes.
Co-trainer Tom Dabernig, who now trains in a newly formed partnership with his uncle David Hayes and cousin Ben Hayes, said Saturday’s performance over the straight 1200 metres would determine the path Dibayani took this spring.
“He’s always been a bit tricky the Melbourne way and I think the straight track will be good for him,” Dabernig said.
“He was good here early last spring so maybe we could look at something like the Memsie and then possibly head up to Sydney after that.”
The Lindsay Park team has also entered Tashbeeh but is leaning towards running him first-up in the Spring Stakes at Morphettville on Saturday.
Both Dibayani and Tashbeeh trialled nicely down the straight on Friday morning with Dabernig reporting the pair had come through those jump-outs in good order.
“There’s a Group Three race in Adelaide that we’re leaning towards with Tashbeeh,” said Dabernig.
“It looks a nice race and we wanted to have a quality runner in the race.”
Smart Volatility did much of his Hong Kong racing over 1000 metres at Sha Tin and Sargent is keen to give him another crack at straight racing.
Ramornie Handicap winning jockey Tye Angland will travel from Sydney to ride him.
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au