Anthony Van Dyck and Tiger Moth among six O'Brien stars entering quarantine
Aidan O'Brien has given a clear indication of the scale of his ambitions for the Melbourne Spring Carnival, with six horses heading into quarantine before Wednesday's deadline.
The 2019 Derby hero Anthony Van Dyck and this year's Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby winner Santiago are both on the list, as are the globetrotting Magic Wand and impressive Leopardstown winner Tiger Moth.
The team could be completed by Armory, who finished a career-best third in the Irish Champion Stakes at the weekend, and Park Stakes winner Wichita.
Racing Victoria general manager of international operations Paul Bloodworth confirmed O'Brien's stable had informed him that six horses would enter quarantine in Ireland on Wednesday.
"Aidan has advised that these horses are going into quarantine on Wednesday morning, so that's the first step because you can't come to Melbourne unless you do your two weeks' quarantine in Ireland," Bloodworth told RSN927.
"They have in the past put more horses into quarantine than have actually come into Melbourne so I'm not trying to put a dampener on things here but that's just the slight thing we have to wait for to see who they bring.
"But I think it's a very good indication because of the circumstances of this year, around getting here and all the work they've done to get their staff here."
European-based horses must enter quarantine on Wednesday ahead of travelling to Melbourne on October 2. They will be free to race from Caulfield Cup Day on October 17.
The news also confirms which of Ballydoyle's leading lights will not be heading to Melbourne. After being nominated as possibles for the Cox Plate and the Caulfield Cup, Magical and Mogul were notable absentees from the list, with the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and the Qipco Champion Stakes under consideration closer to home. Circus Maximus and Japan were also missing from the quarantine list.
Anthony Van Dyck has been allocated 58.5kg for the $5 million Group 1 Stella Artois Caulfield Cup and $8m Lexus Melbourne Cup.
The 2019 Derby winner defeated Stradivarius in last Sunday's Prix Foy at Longchamp and, should he contest the Melbourne Cup, he would become the equal-highest-weighted O'Brien-trained runner since Septimus, who also carried 58.5kg in 2008.
Ladbrokes make Anthony Van Dyck a 20-1 chance to add the Melbourne Cup to his list of achievements, while stablemates Santiago and Tiger Moth are both 12-1 chances.
Tiger Moth was re-handicapped from 50kg to 52.5kg for the Melbourne Cup following last Saturday's win in the Group 3 Paddy Power "Is It 2021 Yet?" Stakes at Leopardstown.
Santiago ran fourth in last Saturday's Pertemps St Leger at Doncaster. He will carry 53.5kg in the Melbourne Cup and is the highest-handicapped Northern Hemisphere three-year-old in the Melbourne Cup alongside Russian Camelot.
Magic Wand is the only O'Brien inmate earmarked for a second Australian visit despite being a beaten favourite on her last two starts. She finished fifth in the Nassau Stakes at Glorious Goodwood on July 30 and was a well-beaten eighth in last Sunday's Group 2 Blandford Stakes at the Curragh.
Ladbrokes betting for Lexus Melbourne Cup
7 Russian Camelot, 8 Surprise Baby, 12 Santiago, Tiger Moth, 16 Master Of Wine, Shared Ambition, Verry Elleegant, 20 Anthony Van Dyck, Ashrun, Dashing Willoughby, Finche, King Of Leogrance, Sir Dragonet, 25 bar
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