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Pike dives in as Dalasan looks to improve stable rating

Dalasan could move closer to the top of Leon Macdonald’s rankings if he can give the legendary Adelaide trainer another Caulfield Cup win.Macdonald and training partner Andrew Gluyas won the 2011 Caulfield Cup with Southern Speed but even she doesn’t rank at the top of the gallopers the stable has produced over the years.Macdonald rated…

Dalasan could move closer to the top of Leon Macdonald’s rankings if he can give the legendary Adelaide trainer another Caulfield Cup win.

Macdonald and training partner Andrew Gluyas won the 2011 Caulfield Cup with Southern Speed but even she doesn’t rank at the top of the gallopers the stable has produced over the years.

Macdonald rated the triple Group 1 winner Gold Guru as the best he has trained during a 40-year association with South Australian breeder Harry Perks.

“Harry does a great job as a breeder,” Macdonald said. “I’ve known him for 40 years and we’ve had a great run.

“Probably the best was Gold Guru, Rebel Raider obviously.

“You’d go Gold Guru, Rebel Raider, Southern Speed, Dalasan, Serious Speed and nearly all are Group 1 winners.

“Dalasan’s not there yet but hopefully he gets up to that level.”

Dalasan ran second to Russian Camelot in the South Australian Derby in the autumn and showed he was close to his best form with a close fourth to Verry Elleegant in the Turnbull Stakes.

A head separated the pair but TAB has Verry Elleegant as a $5 favourite while Dalasan is a $13 chance to win the Caulfield Cup.

William Pike will ride Dalasan after stewards brokered a deal to allow the WA champion to replace Billy Egan on the horse early in the week.

Macdonald said the late jockey change would make no difference to Dalasan’s Caulfield Cup performance.

“I don’t think W. Pike needs any practice,” Macdonald said. “He’s not a hard horse to ride either so I’m sure they’ll be fine together.”

Dalasan drew barrier 14 for the Caulfield Cup, but could move in three gates after scratchings.

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