Halford aims high with Certerach

Michael Halford is looking forward to Certerach being a player in the major staying races this season following his win in the Dubai Gold Cup.

The Gold Cup at Royal Ascot and the Melbourne Cup at Flemington in November followed by a return for next year's Dubai Carnival are the main targets, should all go to plan.

"Obviously the Cup races will be on the agenda. He's a horse I'd certainly think about taking back to Dubai again next year," said the County Kildare trainer.

"If he was to get a place in the Melbourne Cup we might take a tilt at that. There's lots to think about and plenty to look forward to with him.

"He'll come home now and have a little break and freshen him up and we will see from there, but he is ground dependent.

"He wants good ground and he obviously stays well, so there's Ascot, Melbourne and then back to Dubai. We'll see what happens in between those things as well.

"I was happy that on the night the race went to plan. His form out there had been solid, even though he had a bit to find, but the step up to two miles brought out more improvement in him.

"I was happy enough he would run well and that he warranted his place, but I don't think he deserved to be a 33-1 shot.

"Our horses arrived back in England (on Monday night) and had drunk and eaten well."