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Despite being beaten into fourth in the Prince Of Wales Stakes overnight at Royal Ascot, the William Haggas-trained Mukhadram is still being considered for a trip to Melbourne for the 2014 Cox Plate this spring.
Runner-up in the Group 1 Prince Of Wales Stakes (2000m) last Royal Ascot Carnival, this year the Newmarket-based son of Shamardal could only manage to finish fourth behind upset winner The Fugue.
John Gosden’s flying filly The Fugue was able to score a one and three quarter length victory from Magician in the race with the hot favourite, Prix de l’Arc winner Treve failing to fire with their third place finish.
As for five-year-old Mukhadram they faded late unable to repeat their second to Al Kazeem from last year.
Still they were far from disgraced in their second-up effort for the year after leading the Prince Of Wales field early on.
It was their first run since a second to African Story in the Group 1 Dubwai World Cup (2000m) at Meydan at the end of March.
Both African Story and Mukhadram are two of the 10 international invitees to the $3 million Group 1 Sportingbet Cox Plate (2400m) at Moonee Valley on October 25 this year, invitations sent out by Racing Victoria at the start of the month.
Trainer Haggas is reportedly still keen to make the trip down under with Mukhadram for the Cox Plate but said they would be taking some time to discuss all options with connections before confirming plans.
“It is nice to be considered for the race but we need to get home and reflect on this run before making a decision on future plans,” he said.
One person eager to help them make that decision is Racing Victoria’s international recruiter Leigh Jordan.
Jordan said his hopes were still high the Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum-owned horse would accept the Cox Plate invite and add international interest to Australasia’s weight-for-age championship in 2014.
“It will be up to Sheikh Hamdan to make the decision, but William Haggas and Angus Gold, the racing manager, have shown interest,” Jordan told TVN.
“The Cox Plate is a spot on race for him; it’s an ideal race for him.”
Jordon will embark on an enlisting trip to Europe in July where he said he would further discuss Cox Plate ambitions with Haggas and Gold.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au for all the latest on the Cox Plate Carnival this year.
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Leading the pre-nomination Cox Plate odds at $9 is the Gai Waterhouse-trained Street Cry stallion Carlton House.
The shortest-priced of the international invitees are then John Moore’s Singapore Cup winner Dan Excel and their triple Group 1 winning stablemate Designs On Rome equal on $17.
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