Godolphin look set to continue their quest for an elusive Melbourne Cup in 2013

Godolphin look set to continue their quest for an elusive Melbourne Cup in 2013 after lightly-raced stayer Willing Foe put his name forward as a potential spring contender with a strong return at Newbury overnight, reports Racing Victoria.

Despite being embroiled in recent controversy, Godolphin had a day to remember at Newbury, collecting the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes (1600m) with Farhh three races after Willing Foe posted a dominant win in the Listed Aston Park Stakes (2700m).

The Emirates Melbourne Cup was being touted as a distinct possibility for the latter after he easily accounted for the well credentialed Harris Tweed by six lengths in the Newbury staying feature, a race contested in previous year’s by Melbourne spring performers Ibicenco (2012) and Drunken Sailor (2011).

Speaking after the race, Godolphin trainer Saeed Bin Suroor refused to lock in any plans with the six-year-old son of Dynaformer but said the Melbourne Cup was firmly on the radar.

“It is only May and Melbourne Cup is in November,” Bin Suroor said.

“All options are open for him, and that includes the Melbourne Cup.

“The horse is improving all the time and this year he is physically much better than last year.

“I think two miles is the best trip for him at this point.”

Willing Foe won last season’s Ebor Handicap (2800m), a popular lead-up for English horses looking to secure a trip to Melbourne, but his rating meant Godolphin opted to keep him in Europe rather than gamble on a Cup start in Melbourne.

He is likely to now tackle a feature race during next month’s five-day Royal Ascot Carnival, potentially the Group 1 Gold Cup (4000m), before any decision is made on a trip to Melbourne.

Stablemate Farhh is another galloper that will be chased by Racing Victoria’s International Scout Leigh Jordon after he claimed a maiden Group 1 success in the Lockinge Stakes.

Again the combination of Silvestre De Sousa and Bin Suroor came to the fore as the lightly-raced galloper put five consecutive Group 1 placings behind him, destroying his rivals over the mile.

While the $3 million Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) or even the $2.5 million BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) could be withing Farhh’s grasp during the spring, a trip to Melbourne remains a speculative option for Godolphin.