Talented Mirage Dancer seeking elusive success at Goodwood

Frankel colt tackles Listed prize

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Connections of Mirage Dancer are hoping he can finally add to his maiden win when tackling the Netbet Android Download The App Tapster Stakes at Goodwood on Saturday.

Despite being placed twice at Group-race level the son of Frankel has failed to score in five subsequent starts since his winning debut at Doncaster in October 2016.

Having just been denied on his return at Ascot earlier this month, the Sir Michael Stoute-trained four-year-old will bid to go one better in the mile-and-a-half Listed prize.

Assistant trainer James Horton said: “Mirage Dancer has come out of his run at Ascot – which was a big run – very well.

“We wanted to find out if he was going to be a mile-and-a-half horse or a mile-and-a-quarter horse and he stayed the mile and a half really well.

“He is in good shape and hopefully Saturday should be a good opportunity for him.”

He added: “He has developed well enough over the winter, but he is still quite a big frame of a horse.

“His coat still hasn’t quite come, as you saw at Ascot, as he looked a bit backward in his coat, but he has come forward from there. I still don’t think he is quite there, so hopefully there is a bit of improvement in him.”

Richard Hannon feels Euginio has solid claims of making his first start over the trip a winning one.

He said: “We are going a mile and a half with him and he has got a great chance. I think he will get it, as he is a very easy horse.

“Andrea Atzeni definitely thinks it’s the right thing to do. He is in good form and is quite lightly raced for a four-year-old.”

Autocratic will look to get Freemason Lodge handler Stoute off to a good start by leaving some below-par efforts behind him in the Netbet Mobile Bet10Get10 Festival Stakes.

Horton said: “It just hasn’t gone right for him this year. We are hoping a drop back in class and trip should help him out. We are looking for him to do everything right.

“He was very good in the Brigadier Gerard Stakes last year, but it just hasn’t quite gone as smoothly for him. Hopefully we’ve ironed out his problems and we can get him back to winning ways.”

Having found Group Two company too hot to handle at Newmarket last time out, Marlborough handler Hannon expects Billesdon Bess to make more of an impact back down at Listed level.

He said: “She is a half-sister to a 1000 Guineas winner (Billesdon Brook) now so she is worth a lot of money. She would have a chance and she would have needed her first run.

“They were better than her at Newmarket and that’s a fact. She was taking on much better horses that day.

“Back down to this level now is more like it for her and she would not be without a chance.”

Eve Johnson Houghton hopes the ground will have enough cut in it for stable stalwart and previous course winner What About Carlo .

She said: “Good ground is fine, but good to firm isn’t, and he is too old now to be running on that.

“He is a great horse and we love him. He hasn’t done much as he had two quick races, so I’ve sort of left him alone. He is in great form, moving well and is happy in himself.”

Brian Meehan is keeping his fingers crossed the rain stays away from the Sussex track to allow last year’s runner-up Spark Plug the chance of going one better in the 10-furlong event.

He said: “The spring held him up and he just needed the run at Newmarket the other day, but it was a good race to get him started in.

“He loves Goodwood and he ran well in the same race last year. He is in great order. He is such an easy horse to train.

“We’ve got to watch the ground with him as we don’t want too much rain. Good ground is fine, I don’t want it good to soft.”

Talented Mirage Dancer seeking elusive success at Goodwood
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