Powerful O’Brien squad leaves for Melbourne

Aidan O’Brien’s three-pronged attack on Australia’s leading races stepped up a notch yesterday as Highland Reel, Bondi Beach and Kingfisher set off on the journey Down Under.

Bondi Beach and Kingfisher will run in the Melbourne Cup – where they will be O’Brien’s first runners in the ’race that stops a nation’ since 2008 – while Highland Reel bids to give Ballydoyle a second Cox Plate.

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.”

Like Bondi Beach and Kingfisher, runaway Irish St Leger winner Order Of St George has been bought into by four-time Melbourne Cup-winning owner Lloyd Williams, but a setback means he will not be running again until he returns as a four-year-old.

O’Brien said: “Order Of St George had a minor training setback and we’ve decided to put him away for next year.”


Bonnie Ryan couldn’t be happier.On a roll: Why Bonnie Ryan couldn't be happier

From Ireland to America and fashion to homeswares, designer Helen James is developing interiors products for the high street with an emphasis on sustainability, beauty and function, writes Carol O’CallaghanConsider this: Meet Helen James

Laura Harding goes on location to see where the new adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma was shotBehind the Scenes: Getting the inside story on the movie Emma

More From The Irish Examiner