ALCATRAN returns to the racetrack for trainer Dean Mirfin this Sunday now gelded and with two encouraging trial performances to his name.
That combination puts him in good stead for the upcoming Ronald McDonald House Orange (1,100 metres) set weights race at Cowra where he enters as the second highest rated runner.
He’s bagged a win and a third placing since joining the Bathurst stable in September.
Progeny of Group 1 Lightning Stakes and The Galaxy champion Nicconi continue to take up a large share in the Mirfin stable.
Alcatran, Heavenly Glory, Jetgirl, Winterconi and unraced colt Josephus are all part of the Bathurst stable – all owned either in part of full by the Superhorse syndicate.
“They are great horses," Mirfin said of the group.
“Alcatran’s a full brother to Jetgirl. He came across from Joe Pride’s stable in Sydney, won and then came third in a very strong race.
“We identified him as a nice horse but he needed that gelding and, like with Jetgirl, he just needs that extra bit of time because I don’t think the breed come to hand too young.”
He was eased up over the final 100m by apprentice Chelsea Ings – who also has the ride on Sunday – where he crossed the line in last place but with plenty left in reserve.
“We didn’t ask him to do to much,” Mirfin said of that performance.
“It was a very strong trial. The first four horses past the post are all horses that have qualified for the Country Championships and he was just going around for a bit of race fitness and did a great job.”
Craig Weeding’s Saint Antonio Lad is the only horse carrying a higher rating into Sunday’s race.
“He’s a benchmark 60 coming off a provincial win but [Alcatran’s] very well placed in the race,” Mirfin
“There’s five maidens in the race and four horses who have won one race. Sometimes those races can be tricky but this one shouldn’t be too bad for him.”
The meeting is headlined by the $28,000 Cowra Japan Cup (1,200m) and the $32,000 Cowra Cup (1,700m).