Positive early signs with Mirage Dancer

MELBOURNE Sep 30 2019

Natalie Young is excited about the prospects of new stable acquisition Mirage Dancer after seeing him in quarantine at Werribee following his arrival from Europe.

Young and her partner Trent Busuttin are preparing Mirage Dancer for a shot at Melbourne's major spring races.

The horse, formerly trained by Sir Michael Stoute for his sire Frankel's owner Khalid Abdullah, holds nominations for the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups and the Cox Plate.

Mirage Dancer was one of 14 horses to arrive from Europe on Saturday afternoon with Busuttin and Young spending 3-1/2 hours getting to know the horse.

Young was beaming as she discussed how Mirage Dancer looked and said she could not wait to see him put through his paces towards his spring targets.

Mirage Dancer left Europe 30kg heavier than at his last start when second at Goodwood on August 2.

Young said she was nervous how Mirage Dancer would handle the travel following a bad trip to Hong Kong last December.

"He got off and had a nice roll, did a bit of a handstand which is a bit of a good sign," Young said.

"But we ended up putting 10 litres of fluid into him because of that travel.

"His temperature was nice. He was into his feed and wanted to get his head down and have a pick straight away, so we feel that he travelled really well.

"He's had a walk and trot, trotted up nice and free, so we're really happy so far."

Young said Mirage Dancer could possibly do some extended work on Wednesday, but she was mindful of not overdoing it on the tight Werribee course and may wait until the horse finishes quarantine and moves to Cranbourne for a more serious hit-out.

"These European horses are so used to going up long straights and not being under full pressure going into the turns," Young said.

"Werribee is a bit of weird shape, not that nice oval shape that we would generally like, so we won't put that full pressure on him until he has that last gallop maybe back at our place, from our barn.

"He's got very good legs for his age, very good temperament, so we think we're on the right track."

Ben Melham has been booked to ride Mirage Dancer in the Caulfield Cup.



Craig Brennan - AAP

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