Ipswich Cup winner Gold In Dubai will go to the Grafton Cup this Thursday on his way to a possible Melbourne Cup tilt in the spring.
Gold In Dubai finished second by a half neck in his last start in the Listed Caloundra Cup and will be looking to extend his Cup successes this week.
Trainer Mark Riley, who grew up in Grafton, is confident of his five-year-old gelding’s chances.
“This is the best chance I’ve ever had to win a Grafton Cup,” Riley said.
“It would be a fantastic homecoming.
“I’m really looking forward to getting back to Grafton with a very good cup chance.”
Riley has spent a long time away for Grafton’s lucrative July Carnival in the past.
“Until last year, I hadn’t been to a July Carnival for 30 years,” he said.
Gold In Dubai is said to have pulled up well after his Caloundra Cup run.
“The horse has done enormous since Caloundra,” Riley said.
“He worked sensational up there the other day.”
The horse has drawn barrier four for his Grafton assignment, which is a number that greatly pleases his trainer.
“Barrier four, I’m absolutely rapt,” Riley said.
Riley is optimistic about Gold In Dubai’s Melbourne Cup chances come November.
“Who knows he might even turn into a Melbourne Cup horse,” Riley said.
“He’s seasoning now after coming off a sprinting preparation.”
Gold In Dubai has won five of his 35 starts and has earned just shy of $500,000 in prize money.
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