Bonneval set for Dato

Bonneval - Darryl Sherer

Darryl Sherer

Dual New Zealand Horse of the Year Bonneval has arrived safely in Melbourne and is set to kick-off her spring campaign in the Gr.2 Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday.

It will be the Makfi mare’s first start since last year’s Melbourne spring carnival, where she was victorious in the Dato first-up before going on to win the Gr.1 Underwood Stakes (1600m) at Caulfield.

She was ruled out of the autumn because of a suspensory ligament strain and co-trainer Andrew Forsman said he is looking forward to Bonneval's return on Saturday.

"She travelled over Sunday morning and settled in well," he said.

"She's stronger, as you would expect as a five-year-old mare now. Physically and the way she's working, we couldn't be happier with her.

"She's just had the one trial and ideally we would have given her two, but it's basically been a very similar preparation to last year.

"The only difference is she's not coming off an autumn campaign and she is an older horse so that's probably the niggling doubt that maybe she's not quite as forward, but she's certainly had plenty of work.

"Looking at her and looking at her work, she's pretty well spot-on to where she was last year.

"She might be half a run short but I'm fairly confident that she won't be far away."


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