Ed Bethell could be looking forward to a winter in Dubai with Regional, following the bargain-buy’s fast-finishing third in the Stewards’ Cup on Saturday.
The four-year-old advertised the Middleham Moor yard’s good form when staying on stoutly to chase home Commanche Falls in Goodwood’s six-furlong sprint, finishing a length and a half behind the winner, despite jockey Ryan Moore not enjoying the easiest passage.
In February, the Future Champions Racing Regional syndicate-owned gelding ran a fine second in the valuable Dukhan Sprint in Doha.
While the Ayr Gold Cup could be high on the agenda for the son of Territories, who won twice last season, Bethell hinted a return to the Middle East for a winter campaign might be on the cards.
For now, he is content to take a watching brief before making any long-term plans.
“I am going to see what the handicapper does,” said Bethell. “He was 3lb well-in and he didn’t win. Is he going to keep him the same for finishing third in a Stewards’ Cup? I don’t know. Everyone I have spoken to, we have all got contrasting opinions.
“The Ayr Gold Cup and the Portand Handicap are all ideas. I think he is a horse who will be perfect for Dubai in the winter.
“But I also think if the handicapper is to put him up, he will need to go to Group races, because everything becomes increasingly more difficult in regards to running in these handicaps.”
Bethell has tabbed York’s Ebor meeting as Regional’s next potential target.
He said: “It was a big, big run on Saturday. He would have got a bit closer had he not been checked in his run. Considering he cost three and a half grand, I couldn’t be any happier.
“The horses are all running well. I can’t complain. We have a lovely set of two-year-olds and I’m really happy with the way things are going. I just hope it continues to progress the way I think it can.
“We have some lovely horses and he headlines quite a few of them. I have a few other nice horses aiming towards York. The aim would be to get them to the Ebor meeting.
“There is a six-furlong handicap there for him, the Sky Bet Constantine Handicap (August 20), which we will look at.”
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