Hopes of seeing a royal runner in this year’s Melbourne Cup are over after connections of Desert Hero confirmed he will not be making the trip to Australia.
The Sea The Stars colt brought the house down when providing the newly-crowned King and Queen with their first taste of Royal Ascot success in the King George V Stakes in June, while a subsequent victory in the Gordon Stakes at Goodwood earned him a shot at Classic glory in the St Leger.
The King and Queen made the trip to Doncaster to see the William Haggas-trained three-year-old in action and while he came up short, he was far from disgraced in finishing third behind Aidan O’Brien’s Continuous and Haggas left the door ajar for a possible tilt at ‘the race that stops a nation’ on the first Tuesday in November.
However, while Desert Hero was put through and passed the veterinary checks that would allow him to board the plane, his team have ultimately decided a journey to Australia is not in the youngster’s best interest at this stage of his career.
John Warren, racing adviser to the King and Queen, told the PA news agency: “After giving it plenty of thought we have decided that Desert Hero won’t head to the Melbourne Cup this year.
“It is obviously a world-class race and it was very tempting, but he is still a young horse and we will give him more time to mature.
“He will now have a good break and William will work out a plan for next year.”