Dubai Honour has opened the door to a wealth of international options with trainer William Haggas suggesting the ‘world is his oyster’ after finishing a close-up fourth against older rivals in the Hong Kong Cup at Sha Tin.
Fourth in the Britannia Handicap off a mark of 91 at Royal Ascot in June, the rapidly-improving gelding won a pair of valuable French Group Two events before finishing runner-up in the Champion Stakes at Ascot on his previous outing.
The Mohamed Obaida-owned four-year-old backed that up when finishing a length and a half behind Loves Only You in the valuable 10-furlong Group One event in Hong Kong on Sunday.
Having been held up, Tom Marquand’s mount was short of room approaching the final furlong, but when eventually finding a gap, he finished off his race nicely and answered a few questions for his Newmarket handler.
Haggas said: “He ran a good race – a very good race. He seemed fine afterwards. I saw him trot up this morning (Monday) and we are very happy with him so far.
“So, I think the world is his oyster, really, and he he has shown he can go on quicker ground, which is important for international races. It means if it rains he can cope with it and if it doesn’t he can also cope with it.”
With the likes of stablemate Addeybb plundering the Group One Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick in Australia earlier this year, Haggas is no stranger to top-level success abroad, where prize money is often significantly higher.
And Haggas may well be tempted to plot an overseas campaign for the son of Pride Of Dubai, who could follow a similar path trodden by Addeybb, currently recovering following an infected blood clot in a hock.
“I haven’t got a clue where we go next, really, but there are so many options,” admitted the trainer.
“We have got to decide whether we campaign him in England or whether to campaign him internationally – and that brings in all sorts of races, including the Dubai Sheema Classic.
“It is possible we could go back to Hong Kong in April for the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.
“The big races in Hong Kong are pretty valuable and it is important with him, because he is gelded, and there is no residual value, so he has got to chase the money.
“I am delighted with the way he ran and performed and the way he took it, so it is exciting going forward.”
Haggas also had positive news about Addeybb, who beat subsequent Melbourne Cup winner Verry Elleegant in landing the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, the last of three Group One victories in Australia, before two domestic appearances this season.
The son of Pivotal finished sixth in the Champion Stakes at Ascot in October, but was subsequently found to be lame.
However, Haggas says the seven-year-old gelding is over the worst.
“He is going okay,” said the trainer. “I think we will turn him out shortly if he is okay.
“He will need a month off and there are absolutely no targets for him yet.”