Danawi primed to Excel

3 min read

Written by Bren O'Brien

It's 15 years since Tim Martin guided Exceed And Excel through a brilliant 3-year-old season and he is hoping to revisit those times with one of his colts, Danawi, who broke his maiden in the G3 Ming Dynasty H at Rosehill on Saturday.

Martin revealed recently that he was so taken by how much Danawi reminded him of his sire at the 2017 Easter Yearling Sales, that he had to have the chestnut colt. He paid $400,000 for the colt, who is out of Secret Admirer, a dual Group 1 winning mare.

As the product of two Group 1 winners, Danawi was certainly bred to perform and while he has taken four starts to breakthrough for his first win, Martin feels he can make a significant impression in his 3-year-old year, just like Exceed and Excel.

“It was a big win, very close. He’s a promising horse and he can go on with it, I hope, from here,” Martin said after Danawi withstood a late charge - and a protest - from Mizzy (Zoustar {Aus}) to win the Ming Dynasty.

"I think he'll definitely go to the Golden Rose, then the Caulfield Guineas and those sorts of races hopefully."

Like father, like son

As a measure of comparison, the penny dropped for Exceed And Excel when he won the G2 Up and Coming S in late August 2003. He would roll on to win five of his next six starts, including the G1 Dubai Cup and the G1 Newmarket S, and parlay that into a sensational career at stud.

Like his sire, Danawi has required patience from his trainer, but having finally tasted success after beginning his career with three successive seconds, Saturday's win might have flicked the switch for Danawi.

Martin is weighing up taking him straight to the G1 Golden Rose in four weeks or finding a run in between.

Innes Jnr along for the ride

It's a journey that jockey James Innes Jnr is happy to be a part of having first ridden Danawi just last week when he was second in the Up and Coming at Randwick.

“He could quite easily go the wrong way if he was with another stable. Tim’s a great horseman and he shows that in his runners,” Innes Jnr said.


The beaten brigade

A breakthrough win is also surely not far away for the filly Mizzy (Zoustar), who remains a maiden with her fourth second in five seconds.

"It was a huge run, she had a really good run in the race, jumped really positively, travelled keen throughout which was good and she was strong late. I thought I won,” Jockey Andrew Adkins said.

Better times also await for many of the other beaten brigade, with the likes of Dealmaker (Dundeel {NZ}), Aramayo (Poet's Voice {GB}), Outrageous (All Too Hard {Aus}) and Toulouse (Lope De Vega {Ire}) all looking for longer races.

Jockey Tye Angland was pleased with what he got from the Toulouse, whose trainer David Payne is hoping will be the horse he can take to the Victoria Derby, as he successfully did with Ace High (Hugh Chaparral {IRE}) last year.

“I thought he ran well, he’s obviously looking for further, he’s David’s [Payne] Derby horse so he’ll have him peaking at the right time,” Angland said.