Trainer John Moore has failed in his past two attempts to convince Military Attack's owner, Steven Lo Kit-sing, to tackle Australia's weight-for-age championship but hopes Sunday's win in Singapore changed the game for the horse, who will almost certainly now be Horse of the Year.
Moore has wanted to target the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley with Xtension in the past two seasons but could not swing the argument with Lo, but Military Attack's devastating Singapore Airlines International Cup victory has given the trainer the horse to beat should he go there in 2013.
"Nick Smith from Royal Ascot spoke to me after the race on Sunday about going to England with him, and a trip like that is still up for discussion but my preference would be to target the Cox Plate," Moore said yesterday.
"Mr Lo wants to talk about Military Attack's next goals but I'll be putting forward the Cox Plate. We know now this horse can travel and take his form with him, he can go left handed as well as right handed and the way he is now, tactically, he's a perfect Cox Plate horse. He can be up near the speed, then still show that blinding acceleration." Moore said that, in contrast to previous trips to Melbourne in recent years with the likes of Super Kid, Able Choice, Mighty High and Silver Grecian, which involved multiple-race campaigns, his intention would be to spend as little time in Australia as possible.
"Because of the Australian quarantine regulations, it wouldn't be possible to go just for a week and then race like we did here in Singapore," Moore said.
"But he would fly in two weeks before the Cox Plate, as late as possible, and have the one run. Ideally, if this trip comes to fruition, I hope to have another horse to make the trip with him too, as it's better to send him with a mate. If not, then he would have a pony."
Celebrations on Sunday were low-key after the trainer's maiden foreign Group One, due to the lateness of the race and the warm, humid conditions that would have left most horses feeling the heat after racing.
"I wound up at the stables for quite a while after the races, hot walking Dan Excel in my nice Gucci shoes," Moore chuckled. "The vet said he'd never seen that before. Both horses came through the race well, but Dan Excel in particular was feeling the hard run in the hot conditions and had a bit of heat stress.
"We spent some time getting some electrolytes back into him to rehydrate him. He'll spell now - he's such a war horse, he's done a fantastic job and hopefully he can come back and pick up another big one next season like he did in the Champions Mile," he added.
Whether Military Attack turns towards Royal Ascot next month or not, Moore will be there and hungry for his second foreign international as Time After Time tackles the Golden Jubilee Stakes.