Mirage Dancer ready for first-up run in the CF Orr Stakes

Mirage Dancer will take a step back in time when he runs first-up in the Group One CF Orr Stakes at Caulfield.

Saturday’s race over 1400m will be the first time Mirage Dancer has raced shorter than 2000m since his debut win in the UK in 2016.

That two-year-old race at Doncaster was over seven furlongs (1408m) and Natalie Young, who trains in partnership with Trent Busuttin, says it will be interesting to see the horse again over that trip on Saturday.

After 16 starts for Sir Michael Stoute, Mirage Dancer transferred to Busuttin and Young’s care on arrival in Australia last spring, finishing third in the Caulfield Cup and then 14th to Vow And Declare in the Melbourne Cup.

With those two starts under the belt, plus a healthy break, Young is looking forward to Mirage Dancer’s autumn campaign.

“Last prep when he was going into the Caulfield Cup and the Melbourne Cup his coat wasn’t quite right,” Young said.

“But when we got him in this preparation, we clipped him up straight away and he looks phenomenal.

“He trialled up really nicely last week, he’s run around Caulfield before, he’s been in big fields at his past two starts, so I think he’ll go a really nice race fresh up.”

Young said the Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 7 was an early goal for Mirage Dancer ahead of travel to Sydney with the stable hoping for a wet autumn.

She said Mirage Dancer won’t race beyond 2400m after failing to stay the 3200m of the Melbourne Cup.

“He went super in the Melbourne Cup, but he just went 2800 metres and didn’t see it out,” Young said.

“He had never been over that distance with Sir Michael Stoute and that was obviously why because he knew he wouldn’t get it, but we had to have the chance of having a runner in the Melbourne Cup.

“We’ve got the Australian Cup as a main race this prep and then on to Sydney with the option of the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

“It’s a $4 million race and the Frankels, they generally love it wet.

“So getting to Sydney, on that Sydney leg, it’s not going to faze him, plus there’s no Winx either.”

Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au