Trainer Sir Michael Stoute has saddled three previous winners of a Group Three contest formerly known as the Arc Trial, with Fantastic Light (1999), Doctor Fremantle (2009) and Hillstar (2014) all on the roll of honour for the master of Freemason Lodge.
Mirage Dancer, a son of the mighty Frankel, produced what was arguably a career-best performance when landing the Glorious Stakes at Goodwood last month, and should he follow up this weekend, connections are ready to consider top-level prizes on the world stage.
Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner-breeder Khalid Abdullah, said: “We were delighted with him at Goodwood and clearly this is another important race for him on Saturday.
“We hopes he’s progressive and how he performs this weekend is going to tell us a lot about where we’re heading, I think.
“We’ve always felt he’s potentially better than a Group Three horse, we still do feel that, and there are various options for him before the end of the season at home and abroad.
“I think we’ll get Saturday out of the way and make a plan from there.”
Mirage Dancer is set to face six rivals, including defending champion Desert Encounter, who provided David Simcock with a third successive victory in the race when striking gold 12 months ago.
Young Rascal is a fascinating contender for William Haggas.
The Intello colt was considered a serious Derby contender after winning a Newbury maiden and the Chester Vase in the spring, but disappointed at Epsom and has not been seen in competitive action since.
“He wants a bit of dig in the ground. We’ll start him on Saturday and take it from there,” Haggas told At The Races.
“He never raced in the Derby and fell apart afterwards. I’m not convinced we’ve got him back yet and we may not get him back this year, but he’s ready to go and it’s time he ran.”
Young Rascal is one of two three-year-olds in the field along with Roger Charlton’s Extra Elusive.
Richard Hannon’s Euginio, the David Elsworth-trained Desert Skyline and Wingingit from Andrew Balding’s yard complete the line-up.
Nine juveniles are scheduled to go to post for the Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes.
Following a spectacular two days in Ireland last weekend after enjoying a Group One double with Laurens and Havana Grey, Karl Burke has another major contender for big-race success in True Mason.
The Nottingham novice winner has finished third in the Prix Robert Papin and the Prix Morny in France on his two most recent appearances, and Burke feels there is further improvement to come.
Burke, who has saddled two previous winner of the Mill Reef in Lord Shanakill (2008) and Toocoolforschool (2014), said: “I think he goes there with a great chance.
“It will be the first time he’s had his ground since he ran at Leicester on his debut. It was heavy that day, but I shouldn’t have run him as he was only half-fit.
“We had a great weekend last weekend and hopefully we can bag another Group race on Saturday.
“I’m certainly expecting a big run.”
The Mark Johnston-trained Marie’s Diamond trailed home last of nine in the Morny, but had previously won a Group Three in Ireland and been placed in the Railway Stakes and the Richmond Stakes.
Charlie Johnston, assistant to his father, said: “Marie’s Diamond is in very good order.
“The horse has only disappointed twice in his life – at Epsom (sixth in Woodcote Stakes) and Deauville – and both of those races were run on soft ground.
“We are hoping Newbury avoids the rain, as he will only run if the ground is suitable.
“It looks an open renewal of the Mill Reef and, if he gets his ground, his performance in the Richmond Stakes should put him bang there.”
The Irish Rover bids to provide Aidan O’Brien with his first victory in the race and Frankie Dettori partners the recent Sirenia Stakes winner Kessaar for John Gosden, while Garrus is stepped up in class by Jeremy Noseda.
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