Dash And Dawn Ready For Fireball Returns

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The versatility of Yao Dash could give him the edge over stablemate Dawn Passage when the Tulloch Lodge three-year-olds kick off their autumn campaigns together at Randwick.

The pair resume in the Listed Fireball Stakes (1100m) on Saturday in a field reduced to 10 after six early scratchings.

Spelled after finishing a close fourth to Bivouac in the Golden Rose at just his third start, Yao Dash boasts a soft track victory over subsequent Group One winner Funstar.

Dawn Passage finished a couple of positions behind Yao Dash in the Golden Rose and Saturday will also be his first appearance since.

Co-trainer Adrian Bott believes an expected wet track at Randwick will be more to the liking of Yao Dash but reports both horses have returned to the stable in great order.

“We’re happy with the two horses. They’re going great,” Bott said.

“There should be plenty of pressure in the race. There’s good speed which no doubt will suit them.

“Dawn Passage is probably not as effective on a soft track where Yao Dash is a bit more versatile in that sense.

“It’s a nice starting point for them for what’s hopefully going to be a successful campaign.”

Yao Dash and Dawn Passage are unbeaten first-up and the pair have been given two barrier trials apiece to get them into shape for their returns.

Bott said both would take improvement from Saturday’s race en route to their main target, the Group Two Arrowfield 3YO Sprint (1200m) at Randwick on April 11.

Gerald Ryan is keeping an eye on track conditions for Villami who will only take her place in the Fireball if Randwick improves from its heavy rating.

Villami has form around some of the country’s best fillies, being placed behind Libertini in the Furious Stakes and Loving Gaby in the Champagne Stakes last spring but struggled at her only try on heavy ground.

“She’s terrific but it needs to be a soft seven or better for her to run,” Ryan said.

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