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Danuki aiming for fourth-straight win

Danuki will be out to build on a recent winning streak when he faces a fresh challenge on the straight course at Flemington.

The Clinton McDonald-trained sprinter has hit form in recent starts with wins at Bendigo, Ballarat and Geelong in benchmark races.

He steps up in class in Saturday’s Fiesta Star Handicap (1100m) and will be racing down the straight for just the second time and first since finishing at the tail of the field in the Group Two Danehill Stakes 15 months ago.

“That’s our little question mark with him, whether he is a straight horse because he seems to really kick on the bends,” McDonald said.

“So I will be interested to see how he goes. But I’m happy with the barrier he’s drawn. He’s out wide and hopefully that’s the place to go on Saturday.”

Danuki carried 59.5kg when he led throughout in an 1100m benchmark-70 on Ballarat Cup day before carrying 59kg after Liam Riordan’s three kilo claim when he won by 2-1/2 lengths at Geelong last start.

He drops to 52kg after Ben Thompson’s claim in the higher grade race on Saturday.

“He’s racing well and he’s in good order,” McDonald said.

“He’s been solid all the way through his last three runs which has been a nice surprise because he has been a horse that has been a little bit weak at the end of his races.

“But he did have a throat issue and we’ve fixed it and it seems to be working.”

Danuki underwent a tie-forward operation before he returned to racing in August.

McDonald also has three-year-old Toorak Rose entered for the Flemington meeting, with the filly resuming from a spell in the ISCA Handicap (1100m).

McDonald said she had trialled well in a jump-out ahead of her return.

“She’s a sneaky little chance,” he said.

“We’ll just race her through this period and ideally we’d like to get a city win with her if we can and then work it out from there.”

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