Dubday Goodwood

Connections celebrates Dubday's win at Goodwood (Image: Steven Cargill / Racingfotos.com)

Qatari runner firming as Cups chance

The likelihood of a Qatar-trained horse competing at the Melbourne Cup Carnival for the first time is increasing by the day.

Connections of Dubday have given the strongest indication yet that they were seriously considering a trip south for the son of Dubawi.

The six-year-old was among the entries for the $3 million BMW Caulfield Cup when they closed on Tuesday, while Sheikh Joaan’s Al Shaqab Racing is also eyeing the $6 million Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m).

Harry Herbert, racing manager for Al Shaqab, said the entire shaped as the ideal horse for a trip to Melbourne.

His next start will be in the Prix Foy at Longchamp in France on 13 September after which firmer plans would be made.

“All plans are fluid at the moment," Herbert was reported as saying on racinguk.com.

“At the moment we are thinking of taking him over for the Foy, sponsored by Qatar. After that we'll be having a serious think about the Melbourne Cup.

“I'd personally love him to go because he's a mile-and-a-half horse who stays further with a turn of foot, he ticks a lot of the boxes.

“I think he'd be competitive in it and how often are you going to come across a horse with the right credentials?

“So, it's strongly under consideration but obviously Sheikh Joaan will have the final word. He really likes the plan and unless you go out and buy a horse specifically for the race you don't get many opportunities to have a runner.”

In other emerging from the UK on Thursday, Michael Bell has identified the Lonsdale Cup as the next start for last week’s Goodwood Cup winner Big Orange.

Bell told At The Races the Group 2 event, which will be run on 21 August, works in well.

“Plan A is the Lonsdale Cup at York, where he escapes a penalty for a Group 2 and then, subject to his well-being, he'll go into quarantine for a trip to Australia,” Bell said.