New York business tycoon Michael Bloomberg paved the way for a shot at the US presidency, registering as a candidate in the Alabama Democratic primary race before Friday’s filing deadline.

Although the billionaire has not publicly announced his run, his inclusion among a crowded field keeps his options open for mounting a concerted bid to topple fellow New Yorker Donald Trump.

His name was posted among 17 candidates on the Alabama Democratic Party’s website only hours before registration closed.