Order Of St George to bypass the Cup
IRISH stayer Order Of St George will miss the Melbourne Cup.
The horse will instead be set for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in France on October 1.
Owner Lloyd Williams confirmed plans for the dual Irish St Leger winner in the wake of 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 on October 2 at Flemington – a race he won last year before snaring the Melbourne Cup.
Concerns about track conditions and travel stress are the factors behind the decision to keep the Aidan O’Brien trained 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 on Saturday.
He said that trio, along with Granddukeoftuscany, Bondi Beach and Hans Holbein, were likely to head to the 2500m Bart Cummings.
Almandin is now clear $8 favourite to win the Cup, despite back-to-back Cups being a feat achieved by only four horses in 155 years.
Williams indicated Rekindling, trained by O’Brien’s son Joseph, could travel to Australia after a fine fourth in the English St Leger at Doncaster yesterday.
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.