Horse Racing: Vinnie sets sights on Melbourne Cup

Dermot Weld is dreaming of a second Melbourne Cup success following Vinnie Roe's victory in the Jefferson Smurfit Memorial Irish St Leger.

Dermot Weld is dreaming of a second Melbourne Cup success following Vinnie Roe's victory in the Jefferson Smurfit Memorial Irish St Leger.

The Irish trainer sent Vintage Crop to become the first challenger from the Northern Hemisphere to take Australia's greatest prize in 1993 following the first of his two triumphs in the Curragh Classic.

And now he seeks to tread the same path to greatness with Vinnie Roe, who gave Weld his 14th Classic success and jockey Pat Smullen his first.

The three-year-old colt headed last season's Doncaster St Leger hero Millenary in the last half furlong and the 5-1 shot had drawn two lengths clear of the 9-4 favourite at the line with Marienbard (5-2) a similar distance away third.

Weld's decision to keep Vinnie Roe at home for the Irish Leger rather than run him in the Doncaster version paid off handsomely, but the trainer admitted that it had been a tough call.

"It was a close decision but I wanted to see how he got on against older horses with Melbourne in mind," said Weld.

"Michael Kinane used to say that Vintage Crop ran through the pain barrier and this horse is the same."

This view is shared by Vinnie Roe's rider Pat Smullen.

"If all horses had his courage they would be stars. He arrived going well and he was there for me when I really needed him in the last furlong," said Smullen, 24, and champion jockey for the first time in Ireland last year.

Vinnie Roe, owned by international film director Jim Sheridan of "In The Name Of The Father" fame, has 8st 5lb in the Tooheys New Melbourne Cup in November and Cashmans bookmakers slashed his odds to 14-1 from 40-1.

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