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.