Leading trainer Aidan O'Brien is looking to land his first ever win in the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday as the Ballydoyle handler sends his strongest team to the Flemington track.
O'Brien has some leading chances near the top of the market on Tuesday with Tiger Moth the current 11/2 favourite with Epsom Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck not far behind him at 15/2.
The best the Irishman has ever finished in the race was when finishing second to his son Joseph O'Brien with Johannes Vermeer after Rekindling landed the 2017 renewal.
O'Brien has normally only tried runners in this event that have been guaranteed to stay the trip, but this season his best chances have never ran over two miles and that does look his only concern.
(Credit - ATR) “They are two very nice horses we sent this year – a Derby winner and an Irish Derby runner-up,” said O’Brien.
“We were very happy with Anthony Van Dyck’s run in the Caulfield Cup.
“The lads who are over there with him, and Shane who rides him out, are all very happy with him.“Hugh (Bowman) has sat on him a few times and has been very happy with him.
“Tiger Moth obviously hasn’t run over there but he ran an excellent race in the Irish Derby and won well the race before he left to go to Australia.
“There wasn’t really any other race he could run in, and he was just getting in the Melbourne Cup with a nice weight, so we decided not to run him (beforehand).
“They’ve been very happy since he’s been down there – everything is very good with him, and I suppose there’s just another canter to go. I’m hoping they both run well.”
Due to the obvious pandemic, O'Brien can not send over his usual riders for the Group One event and will instead use some of the best jockeys in Australia with Winx's retained rider Hugh Bowman getting the call up on Anthony Van Dyck and Kerrin McEvoy will be on Tiger Moth having landed the event in 2018 with Cross Counter.
“We’ve got one drawn inside (Anthony Van Dyck in three) and one on the outside (Tiger Moth 23) – so who knows, we’ll see how that plays out,” added O’Brien.
“I’ll be speaking to both Hugh and Kerrin before the race, and see what the lads think.
“I’m delighted to have the two of them – they are two great riders with great experience.”