Aidan O’Brien has given both Henrythenavigator and Duke Of Marmalade a potentially fascinating extra option by entering the pair in the Tatts Cox Plate in Australia on October 25.
O’Brien’s two multiple Group One winners are among 15 Ballydoyle candidates for the three Spring Racing Carnival feature events including the Emirates Melbourne Cup, where both triple Gold Cup winner Yeats and his potential successor in staying events, Septimus, have been put forward.
Yeats ran in Australia’s greatest race in 2006, managing only seventh, but would have to carry a giant weight on November 4 at Flemington.
That possibility will not be taken up by last year’s runner-up Purple Moon, who has not been entered by Luca Cumani and the Newmarket trainer relies instead on Bauer, Mad Rush, Ladies Best, Sanbuch and Speed Gifted.
Dermot Weld, already twice the winner of the Melbourne Cup, can choose from Consulate, Ghimaar and Profound Beauty, while other intriguing British horses include Sir Michael Stoute’s St Leger possibility Patkai and Jeremy Noseda’s Sixties Icon.
“For a trainer who is making headlines around the world, this is a glowing endorsement of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival as a truly international racing event. Aidan has nominated all his Group One headline performers,” said Racing Victoria’s director of racing operations Leigh Jordon.
“These are without doubt, the best quality international entries we have received since the inception of international competition in the Spring Racing Carnival in the early 90s.”