Clinton McDonald has confirmed his plans that Star Patrol will head to Dubai next year despite a below-par performance in the Champions Sprint last Saturday.
The straight-track specialist will have two runs in Dubai, culminating in a tilt at the $2.2 million Al Quoz Sprint (1200m) on March 30 on World Cup Night.
“I spoke to the owners this morning and they are very keen to get him to Dubai,” McDonald explained.
“He is below the top sprinters here, we aren’t under any illusions there behind I Wish I Win and Private Eye and Think About It.
“He is that genuine Group 2, weak Group 1 horse … but the prizemoney over there is so good so it’s like winning a Newmarket here.”
McDonald is set to speak to club representatives this week, with Star Patrol to have a lead-up run in Dubai on March 2 over 1000 metres.
McDonald’s late father Ross inspected the Dubai facilities with thoughts to travel Weekend Hussler in his prime.
“We will trial him up in Australia and he’ll be fit when he gets there and we will just keep him ticking over when he gets there,” he said.
Star Patrol is currently in the paddock for four weeks following his last placing in the Champions Sprint after suffering from a virus.
“The blood picture on the Wednesday was good but it’s a bit of a virus that must have been brewing,” he said.
“We thought he was nice and bright at the races, but Ben (Melham) said even going down to the gates, the Clerk of the Course commented how quiet he was.”
The Astrologist finished a close-up second in the Al Quoz Sprint earlier this year, while Buffering won the race in 2016 and Ortensia did likewise in 2012.