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Godolphin aim four at Melbourne Cup.

Dubai: Despite being dealt a series of disappointments Godolphin continue their positive approach as they renew their bid to win Australia's biggest race, the $6.5million (Dh23.87 million) Melbourne Cup.

The Dubai-owned stable has nominated four horses, led by exciting Ebor Handicap winner Willing Foe, for the November 6 showpiece that the Aussies showily refer to as "The Race that Stops the Nation."

Three times a runner-up in the 3,200m contest Godolphin have also short-listed Ascot Gold Cup (G1) winner Colour Vision, veteran stayer Cavalryman and Lost In The Moment, who finished sixth in last year's Melbourne Cup behind Dunaden.

Godolphin was founded by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and its principal goal is to compete and win all the major races in the world.

While they have won most of the sport's premier events, the Melbourne Cup has proved elusive with Central Park (1999), Give The Slip (2001) and Crime Scene (2009) coming closest to ending their drought, by filling in the runner-up slots.

Perhaps nobody identifies with the Godolphin philosophy better than chief Saeed Bin Surour, who has endured many triumphs and losses during his 17-year career with the team.

"Shaikh Mohammad wants to win all the world's best race and the Melbourne Cup is one of them," Bin Surour has repeatedly stressed. "We will keep options open for the future but the Melbourne Cup is one of those options.

"We also have Cavalryman, Lost In The Moment and Colour Vision. As we come close to quarantine time we will decide. Usually we choose two to take there."

Willing Foe has emerged as a genuine contender following his battling neck victory over Rich Diamond in last Saturday's Ebor Handicap over a gruelling 14 furlongs at York.

However, Colour Vision appears to have the best credentials having performed consistently well in top-rated long-distance contests where he also finished a creditable third in last month's Goodwood Cup (G2) behind Saddler's Rock and Askar Tau.

Meanwhile, when entries closed on Tuesday, three former winners and 23 international horses figured among the 151 nominations for the Melbourne Cup.

Dunaden, who won the race 12 months ago, was joined by former winners Americain (2010) and Efficient (2007).

Top Irish handler Aidan O'Brien, who will have his first Cup runner since 2008, has nominated I Have A Dream.

The home challenge will be led by the former Harry Dunlop-trained Green Moon, now in the custody of Australian handler Robert Hickmott and Anthony Freedman's Doomben Cup winner Mawingo who is set to race this weekend at Flemington in the Group 2 Makybe Diva Stakes.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Sep 5, 2012
Words:462
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