Racing: O'Brien encouraged to mount Cup bid

Photo / Sarah Ivey
Photo / Sarah Ivey

Racing Victoria's international equine recruiting agent Leigh Jordan is determined to convince Irish training genius Aidan O'Brien to again target the Melbourne Cup.

O'Brien, who prepared former Australian champion So You Think to win five group one races in Europe, has not returned Downunder since his three stayers - Septimus (18th), Alessandro Volta (20th) and Honolulu (21st) - ran poorly behind Viewed in the 2008 Melbourne Cup.

"I go back to Ballydoyle every year since Aidan was last in Melbourne," Jordan told the Herald Sun.

"I keep knocking on his door so I hope this might be the year he does come back for the Cup."

Jordan will visit O'Brien and other leading trainers in Ireland this week, including two-time Melbourne Cup winner Dermot Weld (Vintage Crop 1993, Media Puzzle 2002), John Oxx and others, to try to lure their best stayers to compete in the Melbourne Cup this year.

Jordan has spent the past few days at Newmarket spreading the word about the Melbourne spring carnival.

"The three days of the July Cup Carnival is a great spot to come to as all the top English trainers are here at Newmarket," Jordan said.

"I've had the wish list out and kept ticking them off as I've spoken to them."

Mount Athos was a very impressive five-lengths winner of the Silver Cup at York yesterday and Cumani is understood to be considering setting the emerging stayer for the Melbourne Cup.

Red Cadeaux, narrowly beaten by Dunaden in the Melbourne Cup last year, is set for another trip to Australia despite his third to Fiorente in the Princess of Wales's Stakes at Newmarket last week.

"I think Red Cadeaux was on the wrong side of the track the other day and maybe he had had one run too many," Jordan said.

"His trainer, Ed Dunlop, told me that he is going to give Red Cadeaux a break now but he is very keen on running the horse in the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups later this year."

Dunaden is due to contest the group one King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on Saturday, a race that Jordan said was likely to determine whether the French stayer returned to Flemington this year.

"If he runs first, second or third in the King George, then I'd say his connections will aim him at the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe which means a Melbourne Cup start is out of the question," Jordan said. "If he runs fourth or fifth, then they might return for the Cup but I know the Arc is their main goal this year."

After the Ascot meeting next weekend, Jordan will travel to France, which has produced the last two Melbourne Cup winners in Americain (2010) and Dunaden, before heading over to Germany.

"With Lucas Cranach and Mawingo figuring prominently in the Cups, there is a lot of interest in the German stayers so I will be seeing as many trainers there as I can to see if we can [get] some more German participation in the Melbourne Cup," he added.

In France, Imperial Monarch, a three-quarter brother to Mount Athos and both bred by Coolmore's Tom Magnier, won the group one Grand Prix De Paris on Sunday and could also be aimed at the Melbourne Cup.

- NZ Herald

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