Three 2013 Melbourne Cup Runners for Sheikh Fahad

Sheikh Fahad has ruled out any chance of Dunaden running in the 2013 Melbourne Cup but is still hoping to have three runners.

Dunaden will not be part of Sheikh Fahad's Melbourne Cup team. Photo: Race Horse Photos Australia.

In Australia for the Inglis Easter Yearling Sale, Sheikh Fahad refused to identify which of his charges would be aimed at Australia’s biggest race but said he is hoping to be well represented.

“I’m keeping that a secret for now, but hopefully we will send three over,” Sheikh Fahad told TVN.

After winning the Melbourne Cup in 2011, Dunaden ran 14th last year but Sheikh Fahad said there would be no chance he will attempt to chase a second title.

But an Australian trip is still on the cards for the star seven-year-old, with the 2013 Cox Plate the ultimate aim.

“He has to go for weight-for-age. If he handles 10 furlongs [2000m] then we will send him over,” Sheik Fahad said.

“We will try him back home first…we will hopefully find another race for him this year in Australia, but it won’t be the Melbourne Cup.”

In his first run since finishing fifth in the Hong Kong Vase in December, Dunaden contested the Group 1 Sheema Classic (2410m) in Dubai on March 30 where he ran fourth to St Nicholas Abbey.

Sheikh Fahad was pleased with the performance, suggesting the Nicobar entire needed the run.

A winner of more than $7 million in prizemoney, Dunaden is regarded as one of the world’s best stayers.

He has won 10 times from 35 starts including three times at Group 1 level. In addition to his Melbourne and Caulfield Cup wins he also took out the 2011 Hong Kong Vase.

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