Connections say the David Simcock-trained Spanish Mission will target the Melbourne Cup next year. Spanish Mission landed the Jockey Club Derby Invitational Stakes at Belmont Park under Jamie Spencer on Saturday and, as such, can contest the Breeders’ Cup Turf in November.
However, part-owner Barry Irwin says the three-year-old colt will instead return to Europe, and could be heading Down Under for the Melbourne showpiece in 2020. “He’s a good horse,” Irwin told the Racing Post. “I think he’ll get better with age.
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“When I bought him, the plan was to leave him in Europe this year and then bring him to America next year. Halfway through the season, I realised this is strictly a European horse and I told my guys, ‘He’s never coming home, but I’ll bring him for this race.’
“We’re looking at the Melbourne Cup with this horse. Earle [I. Mack, part owner] would rather win that race than anything, and I’d like to win it as well.”