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Saturday 10 December 2016

O'Brien trio depart Ballydoyle and make their way to Oz

Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach

Aidan O'Brien's Highland Reel, Bondi Beach and Kingfisher have departed Ballydoyle and are on the way to Australia after spending two weeks in quarantine.

O'Brien had put five horses into the special quarantine facility at Ballydoyle but has opted against sending Ol' Man River for the Mackinnon Stakes and impressive Irish St Leger winner Order Of St George will stay at home rather than contest the Melbourne Cup.

Having won the Cox Plate with Adelaide last year, O'Brien will look to be successful in that race again at Moonee Valley in two weeks' time with Highland Reel, while Bondi Beach and Kingfisher form the champion trainers Melbourne Cup team.

O'Brien said: "Our three horses for Melbourne departed from Shannon airport this morning.

"Highland Reel, who has a similar profile to Adelaide, is being aimed at the Cox Plate. Bondi Beach and Kingfisher are both tough and genuine horses who we believe have the necessary class and stamina for the Melbourne Cup."

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Dermot Weld remains the only Irish trainer to have won the Melbourne Cup and O'Brien will be hoping to better his previous best when sending Mahler down to finish third in 2007 with this years runners set to be his first since he ran three in the race in 2008.

O'Brien added that Order Of St George won't be seen again this season after having a minor setback.

"Order Of St George had a minor training setback and we've decided to put him away for next year," he added.

Highland Reel, who is due to be ridden by Ryan Moore, is a best priced 10/1 chance with bookmakers Boylesports ,while Bondi Beach and Kingfisher are both a best priced 20/1 with the same firm for the Melbourne Cup.

The Willie Mullins-trained Max Dynamite, the current 10/1 joint second favourite, was part of the first batch to touch down at Werribee Racecourse that houses that international runners during the Spring Carnival and he is reported to have settled in well under the care of recently retired jockey David Casey.

 

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