Sky Hunter has earned himself a second tilt at the Melbourne Cup with a return to winning form at Goodwood.
The six-year-old beat just two runners home in the Flemington showpiece last year but having been specially prepared with a repeat mission in mind by trainer Saeed bin Suroor, confidence is high he can put in an improved showing this time around.
After returning from a 10-month hiatus to finish a creditable third in the September Stakes at Kempton less than three weeks ago, Sky Hunter was a 5-2 chance to get back on the winning trail in Wednesday’s Listed Foundation Stakes (2000m).
William Buick took the Godolphin runner to the front inside the final three furlongs (600m) and Sky Hunter galloped clear to score by 3-1/4 lengths.
Paddy Power cut Sky Hunter to 33-1 from 50-1 for the Melbourne Cup and his trainer Saeed bin Suroor confirmed a return to Australia was now on the agenda.
“We gave him a break after he ran in the Melbourne Cup last year,” bin Suroor said.
“It was always our plan to give him two runs and then go back to Australia and he has done his job today.
“He needs to go into quarantine on September 29, along with the other horses going to Australia.
“I think he has improved physically since last year and we will hope for a good run from him at Flemington.”