St George to stay in Europe
ORDER Of St George will not start in the Melbourne Cup.
The gun Irish stayer will be aimed at the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe early next month.
Owner Lloyd Williams confirmed plans for the dual Irish St Leger winner after Almandin’s stunning JRA Trophy victory at Flemington on Saturday.
Williams said Almandin had pulled up well after his effortless triumph and would probably next run in the Bart Cummings — a race he won last year before snaring the Melbourne Cup.
Concerns over track conditions and travel stress are the factors behind the decision to keep Order Of St George in Europe.
Given 58kg in the Melbourne Cup, his absence means Hartnell, a distant third in last year’s Cup behind Almandin, will be topweight with 57.5kg.
With a record five Cups in his keeping, Williams still has a string of Flemington aspirants, including Crocodile Rock and Aloft who filled the placings behind Almandin.
He said that trio, along with Granddukeoftuscany, Bondi Beach and Hans Holbein, were likely to head to the Bart Cummings.
Almandin is now a clear-cut TAB $8 favourite to win successive Cups — a feat achieved by only four horses in the 155- year history of the race.
Williams indicated Rekindling, trained by Aidan O’Brien’s son Joseph, could travel to Australia after a fine fourth in the William Hill St Leger at Doncaster.
Rekindling is a $51 chance for the Melbourne Cup.
Craig Williams has declared Admire Deus his preferred Cup ride after partnering the Japanese star in trackwork.
“He’s a nice, really solid horse,” Williams said.
“He’s got great form. He’s the third-highest staying horse that they’ve got in Japan and I was delighted with the feel that he’s given me.”