Albert set for big time
WITH his Ipswich owners still basking in the reflected glory of his recent Group 1 Flemington triumph, Albert the Fat is resting up for what is increasingly looking like his international debut next year.
Following the horse's stunning last-stride victory in the recent Emirates Stakes, connections were split between sending the gelding to Perth for the recent Railway Stakes or immediately spelling him.
Two separate votes were needed by the ownership group before it was decided the horse would travel to Perth instead of instituting trainer Chris Waller's plan to prepare him for the Dubai World Cup in March.
In the end, the decision was made for the owners after the horse displayed an elevated temperature following the Flemington campaign and was immediately withdrawn from the trip west.
The forced change to the program has put Dubai firmly back on the agenda, with the ultimate aim of the trip thought to be an assault on the US$5 million Dubai Duty Free.
Waller has informed connections that he would like to see the horse make the trip to Dubai, saying the horse "will be very competitive and will be racing for very good prize money".
The trip to the Arab nation would also help the leading Sydney trainer gain exposure of his own on the international stage.
Waller himself would be unlikely to travel with the horse, instead entrusting duties to foreman Peter Muscutt who has years of experience in the region.
For the owners however the trip represents the opportunity of a lifetime in what has already been a dream run.
Ipswich part-owner Jason White said he would "definitely head over" and he expected most of his counterparts would join him.
In the event owners reject the move, Waller has also laid out an alternate plan to race the horse in Sydney in preparation for the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes in April next year.
Owners are set to vote again on the best move for the horse in coming weeks.
Regardless of the outcome, Ipswich racing fans will continue to be there in their droves to back Albert next time he hits the track.