Mirage Dancer opened up a number of big-race options when landing a hefty punt to win the Bombay Sapphire Glorious Stakes at Goodwood.
Settled in third by Ryan Moore, the four-year-old was backed from 9-4 into 6-5 favouritism and those who took those odds never really had anything to worry about.
With Scotland putting the pace to the race and Eminent racing keenly behind him, Mirage Dancer got a lovely tow into the race before Moore kicked on with a quarter of a mile to go.
On entering the final furlong James Doyle appeared to be covering Red Verdon up in behind him for a late challenge, but he could never get on terms and Mirage Dancer pulled right away to win impressively by three lengths.
It was a sixth win in the race for Sir Michael Stoute, who trained last year’s victor Poet’s Word, the subsequent winner of the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Owner Khalid Abdullah’s racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe said: “It was a very pleasing race to watch and the good thing is he settled really well and the whole thing went very smoothly.
“I think Ryan wanted to kick on a bit earlier, but he didn’t have to. This horse does fit the profile of a Michael Stoute improver.
“Coming into today we hoped he was a horse with whom we could raise his sights and amongst a spectrum of possibilities is the Canadian International, in which Michael has a very good record.
“I think this will rule out any possibility of him going for the Melbourne Cup, because the handicapper might think a bit too much of him after today.”
Reflecting further on Australia, Grimthorpe added: “You always have to put Melbourne in the mix, but I don’t think it will be on the cards – we’ll have to see how it goes.
“We are very pleased – and it is another Group winner for Frankel, which always helps!”
A trip Down Under is certainly on the cards for Red Verdon, with trainer Ed Dunlop saying: “Red Verdon has run very well again. Hopefully, all being well after a discussion with Mr Arculli (owner), Australia is where we go next.”