Busuttin puts autumn hopes on the line
MIRAGE Dancer is Trent Busuttin's roughest chance on Saturday running in Caulfield's richest race.
Ladbrokes rates the six-year-old entire, one of eight Busuttin runners at the meeting, a $51 shot in the $500,000 Group 1 Orr Stakes.
Busuttin, who co-trains with Natalie Young at Cranbourne, said Mirage Dancer was being set for the Group 1 Australian Cup in March, then The BMW at Randwick in April. But Busuttin said he would not be surprised if Mirage Dancer ran well fresh in the Orr Stakes (1400m).
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"It's short of his best distance but he's a quality horse," Busuttin said. "This is a good race but doesn't have the depth of, say, a weight-for-age race of 10 or 15 years ago."
Most of the stable's eight runners are being aimed at Group 1 races in Melbourne and Sydney.
"We've never had a day like it," Busuttin said.
"Either we'll be approaching the rest of the autumn carnival with great expectations or we'll leave the track with our tails between our legs."
Busuttin is heading to Sydney to saddle up Larimer Street in the $2 million Inglis Millennium at Warwick Farm while Young will have the busy day at Caulfield.
At Caulfield they have two-year-old colt Tagaloa in a Blue Diamond Prelude, and Letzbeglam in the fillies' division.
They have three-year-old filly Acting and three-year-old colt The Holy One resuming, as well as Caulfield Cup placegetter Mirage Dancer resuming in the Orr Stakes.
Busuttin says Tagaloa has the makings of a top three-year-old and thinks he's good enough to be a factor in the big two-year-old races.
Tagaloa will race the likes of Hanseatic and Rulership in the Blue Diamond Prelude.
"Reputations are going to be made or dented," Busuttin said. "It's some sort of a race but I'm happy with our horse. Barrier seven is perfect and I think he'll give a big sight.
"He's far from the fully furnished product and he's not a big strong two-year-old like some of the others. Hopefully he can get some cover."
Tagaloa had two starts last year for a third at Flemington and a win at the Valley.
Busuttin said Letzbeglam's outside barrier draw of 12 would make things difficult for her but "she'll run a good race".
Busuttin said they sent Larimer Street to Sydney earlier in the week but he doubted whether he could handle a heavy track. "I have my doubts on his pedigree whether he can run on a wet track but there's $2 million reasons to find out."
Acting won the Group 2 Thousand Guineas Prelude last spring and will go to Sydney for the rich fillies' races. "I couldn't be happier with her," Busuttin said.
The stable has promising former Kiwi Savvy Lad making his Australian debut in tomorrow's Autumn Stakes.
CF ORR STAKES (1400m)
Race 8, 4.50pm Saturday, Caulfield
Track: Good 4. Rail: True. Weather: 30C cloudy. Slight chance of rain.
THE MAIN CHANCES
SCALES OF JUSTICE (No.3 $2.80)
Look for him to replicate his last start first-up win in the Australia Stakes by taking up a position on the speed and then sprint away from his rivals. He's also won the Memsie Stakes at Group 1 level last campaign this track and distance. Lindsey Smith is very pleased with him.
HEY DOC (No.2 $5.50)
Tony McEvoy was philosophical after his first-up defeat basically saying Ashlor who challenged him for the lead from the outset brought about it. Luke Currie is likely to settle him in second spot behind Begood Toya Mother and he'll take running down.
ALABAMA EXPRESS (No.12 $8.50)
Mike Moroney is happy to back the three-year-old colt in this company which says it all. The trainer said he should have been placed in the Coolmore Stakes last spring and if that had of happened he'd be challenging for favouritism.
BEGOOD TOYA MOTHER (No.10 $8.50)
Didn't handle The Valley when he resumed in the Australia Stakes. His regular jockey Declan Bates returns to ride and he loves Caulfield. Likely to lead and he could take catching.
FIERCE IMPACT (No.4 $9.50)
Former Japanese galloper who emerged last spring as a topliner with consecutive Group 1 wins over 1600m in the Toorak Handicap and then the Cantala. He's here for the All-Star Mile and it wouldn't surprise to see him take his game to another level this time in.
SO SI BON (No.7 $34)
Form since he was gelded has been solid. Last campaign he finished second in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes this track and distance behind Scales Of Justice. He'll enjoy the fast speed.
Should be genuine speed with BEGOOD TOYA MOTHER likely to lead from HEY DOC. SCALES OF JUSTICE and ALABAMA EXPRESS should be on the speed behind them.
Horses that run well in the Australia Stakes with placegetters from that race winning five of the past nine runnings.
THE TRAINER: JAMES CUMMINGS
"At this meeting last year he won over 1600m first-up and he's come through his training nicely ahead of this. He'll be on the fresh side at 1400m and could tend to need his first-up run."
Split your bet between SCALES OF JUSTICE and HEY DOC. 70% of stake the win on Scales Of Justice and 30% on Hey Doc.
MICHAEL MANLEY'S TIPS
1. SCALES OF JUSTICE
2. Hey Doc
3. Alabama Express
4. Begood Toya Mother