The Godolphin Racing Operation has been chasing the Melbourne Cup for almost two decades and, this year, are hopeful that progressive stayer Ahzeemah could be the horse that will finally break their drought in the famous race.
Godolphin have had some success in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m), with their horses finishing second in the race on three occasions, but they are yet to taste success in the race despite entering some of the most talented stayers in the world.
Ahzeemah is not on the same level as Central Park (who finished second behind Rogan Josh in 1999) or Persian Punch ( who finished third in 1998 and 2001) but has been specifically selected by Godolphin as a Melbourne Cup horse.
Godolphin Racing Manager Simon Crisford told The Portsmouth News that Ahzeemah has been set for the Melbourne Cup but he will need to record a victory another victory at Group level if he is going to be any chance to qualify for the field.
The Group 2 Goodwood Cup (3219m) presents an opportunity for the son of Dubawi to add another Group win to his racing resume and Crisford said the four-year-old is likely to contest the race.
“Ahzeemah ran a really good race in the Princess Of Wales’s Stakes at Newmarket earlier this month and could go for it (The Goodwood Cup),” Crisford said.
“He has the Melbourne Cup as a long-term target but to get into that race nowadays you need to be 115-plus and he is just falling short of that level.”
The consistent stayer has performed well this season and proved that he can handle conditions outside the United Kingdom when he won the Group 3 Nad Al Sheba Trophy (3200m) at Meydan in the United Arab Emirates earlier this year.
He went on to finish second behind Universal in the Group 2 Princess of Wales’s Stakes (2414m), defeating stablemate Cavalryman who finished twelfth in the 2012 Melbourne Cup.
The Goodwod Cup is set to be a very interesting race with potential Melbourne Cup contenders Brown Panther, Cavalryman and Mount Athos all set to compete.