Golden win for Encosta De Lago

Australian bred colt Dan De Lago scored an emphatic victory in the G2 Gold Circle Derby (2400m) in South Africa on Saturday and trainer Charles Laird believe he will be a leading candidate for the G1 Summer Cup later this year.

Dan De Lago (3c Encosta De Lago – The Golden Dane by Danehill) was never in danger of defeat winning by two lengths and Laird confirmed after the race he expected even more from the lightly-raced colt after a winter spell.

“This was his last race for this season,” Laird said while congratulating owners Ingrid and Markus Jooste.  “He will be even better in six months.”

Dan De Lago has now won four of his eight starts and gave jockey Anton Marcus an armchair ride in the Gold Circle Derby.  “I have a soft spot for him,” Marcus said.  “He confirmed today what he showed in the Daily News.”

Dan De Lago was coming off a eye-catching second to Big City Life in the G1 Daily News 2000 and the winner is set to provide South African racegoers with a thrilling duel against local legend Pocket Power in the G1 Durban July Handicap next Saturday.

Dan De Lago is from The Golden Dane who was a Listed winner of the Darby Munro Stakes at Rosehill and the Reginald Allen Hcp at Randwick.  She was also a G1 runner-up to Unworldly in the 2000 Group 1 Flight Stakes.

The Golden Dane has a yearling colt by Encosta de Lago that was sold to Gai Waterhouse for $180,000 at the 2009 Inglis Australian Easter Sale.