Jockey William Buick says the Melbourne Cup has been a long-range target for Sky Hunter and believes the gelding has the credentials to be a contender.
Sky Hunter is the latest chance for Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor who has trained the runner-up three times along with a third placing from 19 starters in the race.
Owner Sheikh Mohammed also has Hartnell in Tuesday’s Cup, with that horse trained locally by his Australian trainer John O’Shea who will saddle up his first Cup runner.
Sky Hunter won a Group Two 2410m-race in Dubai in March and was second in the Legacy Cup (2217m) at Newbury in England in September with another of Godolphin’s retained riders, James Doyle, aboard.
“He’s been targeted for this race,” Buick said.
“We’ve had this in mind for a long time and Saeed and the whole team are really happy with him.
“He’s got a nice draw in seven. For me he looks like a horse who has the credentials for the race. He travels well, he stays well and he has a finishing kick.
“And the recent (wet) weather won’t harm his chances either.”
Buick rode the bin Suroor-trained Lost In The Moment to sixth in 2011 and was aboard the John Gosden-trained Gatewood who finished 12th last year.
Sky Hunter has not raced beyond 2671m but Buick believes the gelding can handle the Cup distance of 3200m at Flemington.
“A flat two miles, I can’t see it being a problem,” he said.
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au