Connections of Raymond Tusk are to consider taking in the staying event on the undercard of the Saudi Cup at Riyadh on February 29, on the way to All-Weather Championship Finals Day on Good Friday.
The Richard Hannon-trained four-year-old booked his place in the Betway All-Weather Marathon by taking a fast-track qualifier at Newcastle, but the new meeting in Saudi Arabia is tempting, as excellent prize-money is up for grabs and the race fits in nicely ahead of Lingfield on April 10.
“We would go there (Lingfield) with every chance and that would be the target. The only thing that might be added to the agenda could be the new race in Saudi Arabia in February,” said Tim Palin, partner and director of racing for owners Middleham Park Racing.
“He could take that in on the way. It could fit in nicely timescale-wise before finals day. He came back from Australia after the Melbourne Cup, so travelling and coming back does not get in the way of his performance.
“It will either be straight to finals day or take in Saudi Arabia.
“We’ll see how he comes out of the race and probably make a decision into the new year.”
Palin was delighted the way Raymond Tusk knuckled down at Newcastle to keep Funny Kid, winner of the Marathon in 2018, at bay.
“He toughed it out big style in the final furlong. He had every chance to capitulate if he wasn’t going to truly stay two miles,” he said.
“The second horse was giving us 3lb and he showed in 2018 he is capable of winning on finals day. The form is right up there with what is required historically.”