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Arc under consideration for Septimus

AIDAN O'BRIEN has expressed his delight that easy Irish St Leger winner Septimus had escaped a penalty for the Melbourne Cup but saidthat the five-year-old could yet enter his calculations for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

The son of Sadler's Wells was cut to 4-1 favourite (from 6) by VCBet for the Melbourne showpiece but the Ballydoyle trainer is still awaiting news of quarantine restrictions to be imposed by the Australian authorities, a factor that could yet have a bearing on where he travels.

"We haven't heard anything yet but we expect to hear news in the next day or two," O'Brien said. "Obviously we were very happy that he didn't get a penalty."

If Septimus reroutes to Paris on October 5 for the Arc, it would effectively rule out a trip to Australia a month later, but a decision will be made when the quarantine restrictions are known.

"He can't run in the Arc if he's going to Australia," said O'Brien, who also has Doncaster Cupwinner Honolulu, who has received a 1kg penalty, and Alessandro Volta as possible Melbourne Cup runners.                     

O'Brien added: "After we hear news about the quarantine we'll then have to sit down and discuss that hard, whether he goes into quarantine and goes to Australia or if he doesn't and goes for the Arc.

"Don't rule it out completely - the plan all along was to go for the Irish Leger and then on to Australia, but we'll have to wait and see as there are other things in the mix at the moment."

Racing Victoria's chief handicapper Greg Carpenter, explaining his decision not to penalise Septimus, said: "While Septimus was visually very impressive on Saturday in winning by 13 lengths, given the level of opposition the performance does not warrant a penalty for the Emirates Melbourne Cup."

Soldier Of Fortune is the main Ballydoyle hope in the betting for the Arc and is a best priced 5-1 second favourite with William Hill behind Zarkava.


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