Is Melbourne Cup on queen’s agenda?

Queen Elizabeth was considering Wednesday whether to send one of Europe’s leading stayers, Tactician, to Australia later this year for a crack at the country’s most famous race, the Melbourne Cup.

Michael Bell, trainer for the queen, confirmed he was finalizing plans for a spring assault Down Under. He remains cautious but has indicated that the Melbourne Cup is a serious option for Tactician.

Tactician finished runner-up at the weekend in the Ebor in Britain, one of the richest and most prestigious handicap races in Europe, but Bell was coy when discussing the four-year-old horse’s prospects for the "race that stops a nation."

"Given who owns him, it would stop the nation even more than usual," Bell said.

"We don’t want to build everyone’s hopes up and then let them down, so there will be no definite decision until John Warren [racing adviser to the queen] is finished with the sales at Deauville," he added.

Tactician has been provisionally entered for the AU$2.6 million (US$2.73 million) Caulfield Cup, a Melbourne Cup lead-up race, on Oct. 15.

There has been speculation recently that the queen would attend this year’s race, on Nov. 1.

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