Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor is considering options for Dubai World Cup hero Thunder Snow on the way to the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
The four-year-old, who has won a Group One in all three of his racing seasons, produced a superb front-running performance at Meydan in March to shock American favourite West Coast, and has since enjoyed a well-deserved break.
The Emirati said: “The horse had a hard race in Dubai, but he is doing well and the Breeders’ Cup Classic is the long-term aim. We’ll try to find one or two races for him beforehand.
“The Jacques le Marois is a possible and the Belmont Jockey Club Gold Cup, then hopefully on to the Classic, as that is the main objective.”
Bin Suroor also had news of Benbatl, winner of the Dubai Turf on World Cup night.
He said: “Benbatl is doing well since winning the Grade One in Dubai.
“We will get him ready for Royal Ascot, and he will go for the Queen Anne, as a stiff mile will suit him.”
In-form filly Savatiano faces her stiffest test to date when she makes her Stakes debut in Saturday’s G2 Dane Ripper Stakes at Doomben.
But trainer James Cummings believes she has the talent to acquit herself well against opposition that includes older and more experienced rivals.
The 30-year-old says Savatiano has what it takes to develop into a top tier filly, but he is also confident she can be competitive now.
“Savatiano takes a giant leap up in grade in the Dane Ripper,” Cummings said.
“She meets a group of very strong mares and she is out of the handicaps, but you have to be impressed with the form she’s in.
“If she’s got it within her, then she’s fit enough and in the right sort of shape to be getting there now.”
Savatiano is in rare form having won her only two starts this time in, the latest by an ever-increasing five lengths over 1200m at Randwick last month.
Savatiano is one of two Godolphin three-year-old fillies looking to make their mark at the meeting with Banish to take on the males in the G2 Queensland Guineas.
Banish (Glyn Schofield) finished fifth last time out in the G2 Doomben Roses and has a G2 win in Melbourne to her credit over the 1600m of Saturday’s race.
“She’s forced to tackle some well-performed males, but the way she ran home over the 2000m tells us she’s nice and fit for the race. She just needs to lift a few lengths,” Cummings said.
Godolphin’s Doomben representation is completed by Nozomi (Jim Byrne) in the G2 Brisbane Cup.
The six-year-old comes to the race off some moderate form but trainer Anthony Freedman is pleased with the horse’s preparation in Brisbane and believes he can run a forward race.
“He’s been a very good horse to the stable over several seasons and, with the right run, he’s capable of getting into the finish,” he said.
Godolphin jockey William Buick has hailed his victory aboard Masar in the Investec Derby at Epsom on Saturday as the greatest moment of his career to date.
Although the 29-year-old has tasted victory at the top level across the world, he has placed his success aboard the Charlie Appleby-trained son of New Approach at the top of the pile.
He said: “I would say it’s my biggest win. I’ve ridden in it a few times and come second a couple of times.
“Breeders’ Cup races are very big but the Derby there is something special about it.
“I think any horse person in the world, certainly this part of the world, would say it’s the race to win.
“I’ve ticked that box 100 per cent now and I want to tick it again.
“You can never rest on your laurels but in this sport you move on so quickly. You have to keep focused and keep your hunger up.
“To see Sheikh Mohammed and all the family so happy, for me personally, and for everyone involved, it meant a huge amount.”
He added: “It probably hasn’t quite sunk in, the magnitude of it and that it was the first blue colours of Godolphin to win it – and for me to be the jockey to deliver that success.”
Victory in the Group One prize was not just a long-held ambition for Buick, it was also a day that Masar’s groom Said Bahadar had been dreaming would come true for his pride and joy.
He said: “After he won the Derby I was over the moon. It was a dream come true that was the important thing.
“We felt he could win a big race but we now hope he can win the Irish Derby as well so we are crossing our fingers for that.”