A trip to Dubai for the Al Quoz Sprint has been ruled out for Newmarket Handicap favourite Osborne Bulls.
The James Cummings-trained, Godolphin-owned gelding was an eye-catching second in the Group One Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington last Saturday.
The performance propelled Osborne Bulls to outright favouritism for the Group One Newmarket (1200m) at Flemington on March 9, while Godolphin also considered taking him to Dubai for the Group One Al Quoz Sprint at the end of the month.
But Cummings confirmed on Friday, Osborne Bulls would remain in Australia.
“He’s an interesting one for us because we had him nominated for Dubai. We made a decision during the week that that’s now off the cards,” Cummings said.
“We won’t travel that horse and we’ll just pick off sprint races nicely with him for the remainder of the year and he’s not a horse we have to race too often.
“I think you can expect to see him in the Newmarket and we’ll be gearing up towards that race.”
Osborne Bulls was the $4 favourite for the Newmarket on Friday ahead of three-year-old colt Zousain from the Chris Waller stable who is at $6.
Connections of Zousain bypassed the Lightning after the colt had a slight temperature a couple of weeks earlier. He showed he had recovered with a barrier trial win at Rosehill on February 11.
Multiple Group One runner-up Zousain steps out against his own age in Saturday’s Group Three Zeditave Stakes and is the $2.10 favourite with Craig Williams to ride. Williams is also booked for the Newmarket.
“He has come back very well,” Waller said.
“He is full of power and has strengthened up into a lovely colt, typical of the Zoustar stock.
“Craig will ride him in the Newmarket so it seemed logical to give him the ride now and he can get some experience on him before that race in two weeks time.
“He should get a lovely run from barrier two on Saturday and be the one to beat.”