Much loved Queensland trainer Desleigh Forster...
The Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young-trained Mirage Dancer produced an enormous late effort to nudge out the favourite Mugatoo in the 2020 The Metropolitan results in Sydney ahead of a potential Spring Cups bid in Melbourne this prep.
A nicely-bred son of Frankel, seven-year-old Mirage Dancer went around at double-figures in this year’s Group 1 $750,000 The Metropolitan (2400m) on Epsom Day having run fourth at The Valley last start in the Group 3 JRA Cup (2040m).
Relishing the step-up to a mile and a half and a drop back from 60.5kg that run in Melbourne to 55.5kg in the Sydney showdown, Mirage Dancer ($10) was too good late for Kris Lees’ Newcastle Cup winner Mugatoo ($3F) beating him to the line by a half-head.
“It was amazing. The last time we backed him up was in the Tancred and the Chairman’s and he ran third, so we knew that he could do it,” co-trainer Young said trackside from Melbourne.
“At The Valley in the JRA Cup he just couldn’t quite corner, and he hit the line really nicely so we just thought that’s a perfect race and he gets in with 55.5 kilos.
“He’s been running consistent races and he’s been carrying that big weight.
“We thought ‘Group 1, Sydney, he goes on that leg’ and it’s $700,000 so we thought ‘why not’.”
The Metropolitan field was led around by the Hawkes Racing-trained light-weight Angel Of Truth ($19) carrying 52.5kg in the form of jockey Tommy Berry.
From the sustained run up-front, Angel Of Truth did well in a busy finish to hold for third and round out The Metropolitan trifecta at big odds.
There was an interesting move from jockey Glen Boss with 1000m to go as he whipped right around the field from last aboard Girl Tuesday to set outside of Angel Of Truth.
At the 600m, a number of the horses started with their runs, including Hush Writer who went up to the leaders after sitting up on the pace throughout.
With 300m to go, the well-backed favourite Mugatoo started to wind up on the outside, while Mirage Dancer was flashing home down the centre of the track.
Mugatoo got his head in front and looked the winner, but Mirage Dancer fought back to deny the favourite and hand Nash Rawiller his 62nd career Group 1.
“He travelled like the winner the whole race. Gee he travelled nicely,” Rawiller said post-win.
“I had a lot of horse at the home turn and I just sort of got on the right horses back in Tim Clark and Hush Writer and he just took me as far as I needed to go to get out and he did the rest.
“He is a very good horse.”
It was the second The Metropolitan winning ride for Rawiller who, 10 years earlier, guided the Waterhouse-trained Herculian Prince (2010) to victory and he was full of post-win credit for Mirage Dancer.
“We probably haven’t seen the best of him since Caulfield Cup Day,” he said.
“On that, he has got to go around in the Melbourne Cup and be a genuine chance.
“You get on these type of horses and you don’t really know how they are going.
“Obviously, Trent told me that he was spot on but until you get on and canter to the gates you don’t know what you are going to feel but when I got to the 600m on the way to the gates I thought ‘wow I’m on a nice horse here’.
“He’s different class.”
“Nash just gave him a peach of a ride and he had a nice draw for a change. It’s amazing,” Young added.
“We thought the Turnbull would have been a bit stronger and we just thought that we wanted to chase that Group 1.
“He’s a Frankel stallion and he’s now a Group 1 winner in Australia.
“We were just mindful of that, trying to get a Group 1 on the way through to the Caulfield Cup.”
As for the $8 million Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) over the two miles at Flemington on November 3, the horse is at $51 with full markets available here.
2020 The Metropolitan Results
|1||3||MIRAGE DANCER (GB)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Nash Rawiller||3||55.5kg||$10|
|2||2||MUGATOO (IRE)||Kris Lees||Kerrin McEvoy||0.2L||7||57kg||1.0kg||$3F|
|3||13||ANGEL OF TRUTH||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tommy Berry||0.4L||10||51.5kg (cd 52.5kg)||$19|
|4||9||HUSH WRITER (JPN)||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Tim Clark||1.9L||2||53kg||$5.50|
|5||15||PATHS OF GLORY (GB)||Richard & Michael Freedman||Ms Kathy O’Hara||4L||14||50.5kg||$18|
|6||18||ZEBROWSKI (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||James Innes Jnr||4L||4||50kg||$7|
|7||16||GIRL TUESDAY||Clarry Conners||Glen Boss||4.2L||18||50kg (cd 52kg)||$31|
|8||8||BRIMHAM ROCKS (GB)||Chris Waller||Brenton Avdulla||4.3L||13||53.5kg||$14|
|9||1||MUSTAJEER (GB)||Kris Lees||Hugh Bowman||4.4L||5||58kg||$61|
|10||12||RONDINELLA (NZ)||John O’Shea||Ms Rachel King||4.8L||12||51.5kg||$21|
|11||11||CARIF||Peter & Paul Snowden||Robbie Dolan||6L||9||52.5kg||$31|
|12||4||WU GOK||Chris Waller||Sam Clipperton||7.1L||11||55kg||$51|
|13||6||ETAH JAMES (NZ)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Regan Bayliss||8.7L||6||53.5kg||$51|
|14||14||AZURO (FR)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Ms Louise Day (a)||9L||17||51.5kg||$301|
|15||21e||SIR CHARLES ROAD||Lance O’Sullivan & Andrew Scott||Brock Ryan (a)||10.3L||8||51kg||$101|
|16||19e||NORWAY (IRE)||Chris Waller||Ms Alysha Collett||10.9L||16||50.5kg||$101|
|17||17||MISS SENTIMENTAL (NZ)||Chris Waller||Ms Jess Taylor||11.1L||15||50kg||$301|
|18||20e||ATTENTION RUN (GER)||Kris Lees||Andrew Gibbons||13.6L||1||50kg||$31|
|22e||GREY LION (IRE)||Matthew Smith||0|
|7||SHARED AMBITION (IRE)||Chris Waller||James McDonald||0|
|5||RAHEEN HOUSE (IRE)||Kris Lees||Jason Collett||0|
|10||LORD BELVEDERE (GB)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Ms Kathy O’Hara||0|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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