Muramasa prepared for Victoria Derby assault

Muramasa will be lining up for only his fourth start when he runs in the Victoria Derby at Flemington.

The Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young stable is hoping Muramasa can repeat the effort of Hitotsu in the 2022 Victoria Derby.

Like Hitotsu last year, Muramasa will wear the same colors that the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained colt wore to take out the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on Saturday.

A debut winner at Sale over 1427m in September, Muramasa then ran seventh on a track favoring on-pace gallopers in the Group 2 Stutt Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley before a last start second to Victoria Derby favorite Mr Maestro in the Group 3 Caulfield Classic (2000m) on October 15.

That performance convinced Busuttin that Muramasa was pursuing a Derby dream that was realized for Busuttin and Young when they won the coveted race in 2011 with Sangster.

“Touch wood, everything is going well with him, but we would like a hard, firm surface,” Busuttin said.

Busuttin said Muramasa had taken significant improvement from his latest outing behind Mr Maestro.

The Andrew Forsman-trained Mr Maestro has four wins from his nine starts and is more race aware while Muramasa is lightly raced.

“That was only his third run the other day,” Busuttin said.

“He finished close enough to the $2 favorite to suggest he’s a chance of turning it around.

“I don’t think the 2500 meters is an issue. I think the mare ran second in a Golden Rose but she’s a High Chaparral mare.

“He has improved with that extra run, and he has shown that with each run he has had.

“It’s still a big ask for him, but he worked up well on Saturday and he’s good to go.”

Mr Maestro is $3.50 Derby favorite with TAB ahead of Saturday’s Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes winner Sharp ‘N’ Smart ($4) and Moonee Valley victory Berkeley Square ($4.50) while Muramasa is currently an $11 chance.

Nominations for the Derby close on Monday.

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