Melbourne Cup is Mootasadir’s ‘end goal’

Palmer has big plans for Wolverhampton winner

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Hugo Palmer will work back from a potential end-of-year outing in the Lexus Melbourne Cup with Mootasadir, after the colt made a winning return to action at Wolverhampton.

After finishing last year with victory in a Group Three at Dundalk, the son of Dansili started where he left off when making his first start over a mile and a half a triumphant one and taking his all-weather record to five out of five on Monday evening.

Newmarket trainer Palmer will now step the four-year-old back up to pattern-race level after earmarking the Group Three Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise Stakes at Newbury, better known as the John Porter, as his next target.

He said: “I am relieved really, because when he ran on his final start last year he won a Group Three – so running in a handicap at Wolverhampton, there is a chance you could end up with egg on your face.

“His next start is most likely to be the John Porter at Newbury over a mile and a half as long as the ground is not too soft – although there is a small possibility he could go for the Dubai Gold Cup.

“The long-term aim, an end goal, is for him to be a Melbourne Cup horse – but we have got to jump through various hoops to get there first.”

While Mootasadir has failed to win either of his two starts on the turf, Palmer feels there have been valid reasons for defeat on both occasions.

He added: “He was just going through a growing phase as a three-year-old, plus he doesn’t want an extreme of ground.

“When he ran at Doncaster the heavens opened, and it ended up being bottomless, which he didn’t like. When he ran at Newmarket it was very fast, and he wasn’t happy on it, and Frankie (Dettori) virtually pulled him up.

“He has got excuses for both runs on turf, but he has not done much wrong. Hopefully we can now try and get that win on the turf into him.”

Although Mootasadir still has to prove he can get beyond a mile and a half if he is to contest the ‘race that stops a nation’, Palmer hopes the manner of his latest success is a positive indication.

He said: “He has proved he has stayed this far, but he has obviously got to stay further yet if we want to go to Australia.

“Emma Clutterbuck, who rides him every day, has done a great job with him. He used to be keen over a mile, but he was beautifully settled over that extended mile and a half. He just ticked away to get a lovely run into the race.

“He may have only won by a length and a half – but proving he can settle over that sort of trip was the biggest key.”

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