When So Si Bon steps out in the Stradbroke Handicap on Saturday afternoon at Eagle Farm, it will be the last time Australian trainer Tom Dabernig has a Group 1 runner for the Lindsay Park stable.
Dabernig has groomed 19 Group 1 winners since teaming up with David Hayes in 2014, and he will be hoping to make it an even 20 before he steps away to start up his own training enterprise.
So Si Bon is a $51 chance in this year’s Stradbroke Handicap, after only beating one runner home in the Kingsford Smith Cup just a fortnight ago.
The Stradbroke has long been known as a hard race for favourites to win, so a rank outsider like So Si Bon cannot exactly be ruled out.
Dabernig suggested that with Blaike McDougall going aboard, the seven-year-old gelding will revert to his old racing pattern of getting back in the pack and then running home strongly.
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The son of So You Think has had 25 Group 1 starts, with his best result being a runner-up effort in the 2019 Memsie Stakes, so a win on Saturday could be the biggest achievement in Dabernig’s career to date.
Having been a co-trainer at Lindsay Park for the past seven years, Dabernig has experience plenty of highs in the racing scene. He has been in partnership with his cousin Ben Hayes for the past 12 months, during which they enjoyed a VRC Oaks win with the now US-bound Personal.
Having trained Group 1 winners such as Redkirk Warrior and Harlem during his time at Lindsay Park, his experience in the racing scene will surely be missed by the prolific stables.
Ben Hayes’ brother JD Hayes will step up into Dabernig’s role as co-trainer for the Lindsay Park stable when the new season commences on August 1.