Haggas Unveils Surprise Melbourne Cup Entry: Desert Hero

Horses round the first turn during the running of the Lexus Melbourne Cup at Flemington. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Racing Photos)

William Haggas, the Newmarket-based master trainer, captured attention when he confirmed Desert Hero would be nominated for the 2023 Melbourne Cup.

In an interview, the seasoned trainer spoke candidly and intriguingly about this surprise inclusion for Australia’s most esteemed horse race.

“I think Desert Hero is pretty good and he stays well, so we’re going to put him in the Melbourne Cup. That could be different, couldn’t it?

The three-year-old colt Desert Hero, who has only four wins from six career starts, could be deemed as unusual choice for the Melbourne Cup race.

The race, established in 1861, is recognised as the richest ‘two-mile’ handicap, and is one of the most prestigious horse races in Australia.

The unusual tactics of William Haggas have previously seen success in Australia.

The UK-based trainer has claimed three of the last four editions of the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m), with Addeybb (2020-2021) and Dubai Honour (2023) securing Australian Group 1 success.

“Australia has become a big thing for us. I think about it all the time but then I’m always thinking where all the horses are going to run.

“Dubai Honour is already inked in to go back to Sydney next year but we need two or three horses to go with him. Before then I’ve put My Prospero in the Cox Plate and Caulfield Cup and he has passed the preliminary veterinary inspections from Racing Victoria.”

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