It will be uncharted territory for horse and trainer when Begood Toya Mother and Daniel Bowman travel to Randwick hoping to pillage the Canterbury Stakes.

Begood Toya Mother will make his Sydney debut in Saturday’s 1300m Group 1, which will also be the first time the Victorian-based Bowman has saddled up a Sydney runner.

“It’s exciting and a little bit nervy,” Bowman said.

“Travelling a horse away the first time, I did it when I worked for other stables but doing it in your own name with your own horse is a little bit different.”

The young trainer has done plenty of groundwork for the stable’s first Sydney raid having selected the Canterbury Stakes as a target some time ago.

He said the Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on the same day was never an option as he looked to extend his horse slightly in distance and seek out rain-affected ground.

“I had this race picked out. He’s sort of not sharp enough for 1200m,” Bowman said.

“In the past this race has always got a small field, even though it’s a strong field, but I thought it might be the right option. He does his slow work every day that (Sydney) direction so that’s not a concern.”

Begood Toya Mother has won eight of his 15 starts and put a Group 1 in the bag when he captured the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Caulfield in September.

Meanwhile, the Australian Cup preparation of imported stayer Mirage Dancer has been spot-on.

Perfect trackwork, strong jump-outs, favourable weather conditions and an outstanding performance in his final lead-up have co-trainer Trent Busuttin confident going into the Flemington Group 1.

Mirage Dancer heads to the Cup (2000m) in great shape after a last-start closing third in the Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield.

His only black mark this campaign has been his last in the C F Orr Stakes.

Busuttin was looking forward to Mirage Dancer’s return in the Orr (1400m) at Caulfield on February 8 but was shocked to see the horse finish more than 9-1/2 lengths behind the winner Alabama Express.

“He just put in one that was too bad to be true,” Busuttin said.

“We couldn’t find anything so we put a line through it and decided to carry on but I said to the owners we were in real trouble if the horse didn’t run well second-up.”

Two weeks later Busuttin and partner Natalie Young were in a much better frame of mind.

Earlier in the day they scored their first Group 1, since making the move from New Zealand just over three years ago, when Tagaloa won the Blue Diamond Stakes.

Later on Mirage Dancer finished hard for third behind Miss Siska in the Young Stakes on February 22.

Regular rider Declan Bates sticks with Begood Toya Mother who is being considered for the All Aged Stakes if he measures up on Saturday.


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