Ebor winner Muntahaa is set to race for champion English trainer John Gosden for the final time in the Melbourne Cup before being switched to the Lindsay Park stable in Australia.
Angus Gold, racing manager for Muntahaa’s owner Sheikh Hamdan, confirmed the plan was for the gelding to remain in Australia after Tuesday’s Cup.
“A horse like this, he’s a five-year-old gelding, he’s got little mileage on the clock and he’s got a lot of talent,” Gold said.
“The racing here, A it’s fantastic but B there’s huge prize money compared to what we have in Europe. To me it makes a lot of sense for him to stay here.
“If he takes to it mentally he’s the sort of horse who could win a fair bit of prize money.”
Traditionally Sheikh Hamdan’s Shadwell Stud would send a handful of horses from Europe each year but when racing started in Dubai he wanted stock to race there.
Sheikh Hamdan has a long history with the Melbourne Cup dating back to At Talaq’s victory in 1986 which was emulated by Jeune in 1994.
Gold said both had a touch of class, returning in the autumn to win the C F Orr Stakes first-up at 1400m.
He doubts Muntahaa is capable of winning that type of race but says the stayer does have a touch of class.
“We’ve sent horses down to Australia before that wouldn’t have the class of this horse,” Gold said.
“Over the years I’ve been working with Sheikh Hamdan we’ve sent a lot of horses down.
“Some have absolutely thrived and some don’t take to it at all.
“He’s a staying horse with a bit of class.”
Gold has been coming to Australia for 33 years and says Jeune’s victory was one of his best moments in racing.
“If we were to get lucky and win it again, it would be just as special, probably more, because I know how hard it is to win,” he said.
“If he hadn’t won the Ebor like he did we wouldn’t be standing here but he won it with such a display of authority showing a bit of his old class back again.
“If he reproduces that he’ll be right there in the shake-up.”
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