An eye-catching win at Newmarket over the weekend has the Saeed bin Suroor-trained Wadi Al Hattawi in the mix for a possible trip down under this spring to target the Melbourne Cup 2015 at Flemington Racecourse.
Ridden by James Doyle in the Fly easyJet From Lond Southened Airport Handicap (2600m), five-year-old Dalakhani gelding Wadi Al Hattawi got a clear inside run over the final furlong and stormed home to defeat Intense Tango by nearly four lengths on Saturday.
The big win followed his failure at York only seven days earlier when the lightly-raced stayer was pulled-up 400m into the Ebor Handicap.
It was an impressive return to form and win by the Godolphin-raced galloper who could give Bin Suroor his 21st runner in the ‘race that stops a nation’.
“He could definitely be a horse for Australia, and I’ve got two or three others but I need to see more from them,” Bin Suroor told Racing Victoria.
Over the years the top international trainer has saddled up 20 stayers in the iconic Melbourne Cup, but despite three close seconds and a third he is yet to win the world’s richest handicap.
His Melbourne Cup seconds came from Central Park (1999), Give The Slip (2001) and most recently Crime Scene (2009).
Last year he was represented by Willing Foe who ran fifth behind Germany’s Protectionist, who is now trained by Kris Lees in Australia and who is on track for a title defence in the two mile classic.
This year’s $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) takes place on Tuesday November 3 and could now be on the agenda for Wadi Al Hattawi.
The raider is yet to be added to the futures Melbourne Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au, which are firmly led by Japan’s Fame Game.
Bin Suroor named Secret Number as another possible Cup hope for him this year, the Raven’s Pass five-year-old not seen running second to stablemate Prince Bishop in the Group 3 September Stakes (2414m) at Kempton nearly a year ago.
“Secret Number is the other one I like for it,” he said.
“You need to have a horse with form over a mile and a quarter or a mile and a half, and he won a Group 3 over a mile and a half last year.”
Other likely international raiders to feature in the Melbourne Cup nominations when they close next week include eighth-placed in 2013 Brown Panther, triple runner-up Red Cadeaux for Ed Dunlop, the fellow Dunlop-trained Trip To Paris and Michael Bell’s recent Goodwood Cup winner Big Orange.
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