Dubai Mile sets sights on the Derby after decision to skip the Breeders' Cup

Dubai Mile will have the Derby as his big target next after connections took the decision to bypass the Breeders' Cup.

The Charlie and Mark Johnston-trained juvenile made the step up into top-class company at the weekend and ran out successful in the Criterium de Saint-Cloud.

The win was a first Group One for rider Daniel Muscutt and a first Group One as a sire for the late Roaring Lion. The victory also enabled owner Ahmad Al Shaikh to break his own duck at the highest level, having had both Khalifa Sat and Hoo Ya Mal placed in the Derby at big odds.

The Epsom Classic is now a likely target for Dubai Mile, who has taken the race well, according to Charlie Johnston.

"That was the right decision (not to go to the Breeders' Cup)," said Johnston, whose colt was only narrowly beaten on his penultimate run in the Royal Lodge.

"It was an idea that was being bandied about. I was never really 100 per cent sold on the race being ideal for him.

"He won on Saturday, so now we can put him away for next year."

Dubai Mile, who brought up Mark Johnston's 5,000th domestic winner at Kempton in August, will be trained with Classic aspirations next spring.

Johnston went on: "The owner has quite a recent history with the Derby in that he has finished second in the last two runnings with a 50-1 and a 150-1 shot.

"Now we have a good horse who, at this point in his career, could be a genuine Derby horse and that is exactly what Ahmad Al Shaikh and the team will be wanting to work back from, and it will be a case of where he goes between now and then.

"The logical step will be Dante and Derby, but I suppose we will think about things like that next spring."

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