He’s taken a little while to hit his straps, but exciting Coffs sprinter Mikado is set to take the next big step at Thursday’s feature Lismore meeting.
On Showcase “Big Dance” day, this feature Open Hcp sprint over 1210m stacks up well on many fronts for the still lightly raced five-year-old who returned to racing with a fast-finishing second placing at Wyong three weeks ago.
NSW’s feature meeting will be at Lismore on Thursday.Credit:Fairfax
That rattling and eye-catching finish behind highly rated sprinter Oakfield Duke was Mikado’s first outing since two smart CL3 and BM 82 wins in the space of three days in mid-March to cap off a very progressive prep.
Trained by David Matts, Mikado has built a 25 per cent win rate from only 21 starts, as well as seven other minor placings.
The son of Exceed And Excel could have pushed on into a potential Highway start on Saturday, but connections decided to head back to the greater North Coast region for a more realistic shot at a sixth career win on Lismore Cup day.
Mikado is again expected to settle well back off the speed, and be saved for a big finish on a track that is likely to become rain-affected with persistent rain forecast.
Flying Toowoomba eight-year-old V J Day, and tough Far North Coast seven-year-old Dubai Tycoon, who is hunting a hat trick of wins, are likely to provide the biggest opposition.
Meanwhile, in the headline race, with eligibility to the rich “Big Dance” on the line, another very honest and tough Coffs galloper will try to add the Lismore Cup to his dominant Tuncurry Cup win from 13 days ago.
Ambitious Prince, an eight-year-old son of Casino Prince and trained by Warren Gavenlock, surged through the mud at Tuncurry to win by nearly three lengths, and while this is a shade tougher, the forecast of rain is music on the dance floor for this galloper.
Ambitious Prince has had more than half of his 56 career starts on either soft or heavy ground for three wins and 11 placings.
But there’ll be no room for error against smart seven-year-old and early favourite Stuck With You who boasts a 30 per cent winning strike rate from 24 starts, and was only narrowly beaten last start in much tougher company at Doomben over the border.
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