Darren Bunyan is weighing up options in Australia and Dubai for his classy sprinter Hit The Bid.
The four-year-old signed off for the season by winning a good renewal of the Mercury Stakes at Dundalk last week.
A winner at the Dubai Carnival earlier in the year, similar races are in the offing again, but the prospect of fast ground Down Under could see a change of tack.
“The right four came clear in Dundalk – and thankfully for us the right one won. We were very happy,” said Bunyan.
“He’d been unfortunate in his previous three runs in that the ground had gone against him. In the end, I was happy I ran him in the Abbaye because he’d done a fair bit of travelling without running – going to Newbury as well.
“Chris (Hayes) just said he had a bit of a blow a furlong out, so there’s improvement to come. It was a great ride by Chris, I must say that.”
It means Hit The Bid is due a brief rest until the new year.
“There’s nothing before Dubai, so he’ll have a short break now,” Bunyan added.
“I don’t think we’ll chance him on the dirt. There’s three races in Dubai for him now – thankfully the handicapper didn’t move him.
“The first race is January 3, the same race he ran (second) in last year. This year it is a 95-110 – whereas last year it was open. That’s how (winner) Ertijaal was able to run in it.
“Three weeks after that, there’s the race he won last year – and then there’s the Group Two.”
Further plans are fluid.
“We won’t bother will the Al Quoz, unless they switch it back to five furlongs again,” said Bunyan.
“However, there’s also a chance he could go to Australia – there are two suitable races for him in Melbourne in February.
“There’s the Lightning Stakes and then a race called the Oakley Place – then possibly, he could go on to Sydney in March.
“I went out there for a few days last year with this lad in mind and did some research – for the last 10 years the ground has been no slower than good, so there’s a definite chance he could go out there.
“The horse just keeps improving. I’m sure there’ s plenty more to come from him.”