Ir­ish stayer steers clear of Al­mandin


OR­DER Of St Ge­orge is to miss the Mel­bourne Cup.

The gun Ir­ish stayer will in­stead be aimed at the Prix de l’Arc de Tri­om­phe in early Oc­to­ber.

Owner Lloyd Wil­liams has con­firmed plans for the dual Ir­ish St Leger win­ner in the wake of Al­mandin’s stun­ning JRA Tro­phy (2500m) 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, Or­der Of St Ge­orge’s 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 Grand duke of tus­cany, Bondi Beach and Hans Hol­bein, was likely to head to the Bart Cum­mings.

Al­mandin is now a clear-cut $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 O’Brien’s son Joseph, could travel to Aus­tralia af­ter a fine fourth in the St Leger at Don­caster overnight.

Rekin­dling is a $51 chance for the Mel­bourne Cup.

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