Newmarket trainer Sir Mark Prescott will bypass the Goodwood Cup with St Michel and instead will prepare the English stayer for the Group 1 $6m Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 7.
Prescott has entered St Michel along with stalemate Pallasator for the Group 1 £500,000 QATAR Goodwood Cup (2 miles) at Goodwood on August 1, but has said that neither stayer will be running.
“St Michel won’t run in the Goodwood Cup and Pallasator probably won’t make it,” Prescott told The Sun.
“Pallasator was a little bit dull and not himself after his last run. He’s back in work now, but I would say it’s probably 60-40 against that he’ll run at Goodwood.
“St Michel is heading for the Melbourne Cup and he’ll probably have one run somewhere before he goes.
“He’d get in the race (Melbourne Cup) in most years (with his rating). If he doesn’t he’ll run in one of the other big races down there.”
St Michel is a proven two miler with two of his four wins being around the 3200m mark and one at 3600m while his fourth win was over the slightly shorter distance of 2816m but the four year old stayer is yet to win at Group level.
St Michel’s best efforts in Group company have been a last start second in the Group 3 US$405,000 Belmont Gold Cup Invitational Stakes (2 miles) at Belmont Park at Elmont in New York in the USA on June 9 and a third in the Group 2 £100,000 250th Doncaster Cup (2 miles, 2 furlongs) at Doncaster in England in September last year.
The Michael Bell trained Big Orange, who finished fifth and tenth in the 2015 and 2016 Melbourne Cups, sits at the top of the nominations for the Goodwood Cup and will be trying to make it a hat trick of wins in the tough staying feature after collecting the winning trophy in the last two years.