The growing international presence at the Melbourne spring carnival is set to flow into the Cox Plate with British five-year-old Trade Storm to be aimed at the $3 million race.
The Trade Fair entire was bought by Qatar Racing Limited last month following his Group 2 Zabeel Mile win in Dubai and they have signalled their intentions to chase success in Australia’s weight-for-age championship.
Qatar Racing Limited is owned by Sheikh Fahad Al Thani, Sheikh Hamad and Sheikh Suhaim from the Qatari royal family.
Earlier this month Sheikh Fahad spoke of his plan to bring a number of horses to Australia this spring and his racing manager David Redvers has revealed one of those will be Trade Storm.
“The Cox Plate is our priority,” Redvers told The West Australian.
“Sheikh Fahad is expanding his Australasian racing and breeding interests and Trade Storm can further lift our profile.
“He’s world class. We wouldn’t entertain bringing out a horse if he was not up to it.”
Trained by David Simcock at Newmarket, Trade Storm was last seen running fourth in the Group 1 Dubai Duty Free (1800m) on World Cup night at Meydan.
Sheikh Fahad could have two Cox Plate runners, suggesting earlier this month the prestigious race could also be the target of 2011 Melbourne Cup winner Dunaden.
“He has to go for weight-for-age. If he handles 10 furlongs [2000m] then we will send him over,” Sheikh Fahad said.
“We will try him back home first…we will hopefully find another race for him this year in Australia, but it won’t be the Melbourne Cup.”
Dunaden has been at the forefront of the international dominance of Australia’s premier racing period in recent years, winning the 2011 Melbourne and Geelong Cups and the 2012 Caulfield Cup.