Order Of St George (Ryan Moore) won the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
By Tony McFadden 9:15AM 30 AUG 2016
GOLD CUP winner Order Of St George features among 124 entries for the Melbourne Cup, the world’s richest handicap, which is to be run at Flemington on Tuesday, November 1.
Order Of St George, who established himself as the leading stayer in Europe with an emphatic success at Royal Ascot, spearheads a possible team of seven for record-breaking trainer Aidan O’Brien, who is seeking to win one of the only major prizes that has so far eluded him.
O’Brien’s compatriot Willie Mullins went close to securing victory last year with Max Dynamite, who finished a half-length second to Prince Of Penznace, and he has two possible contenders this time in Clondaw Warrior and Wicklow Brave.
Other interesting contenders among the 31 overseas entries include Heartbreak City, an impressive winner of the Betfred Ebor, Europe’s most valuable handicap, and 2014 Melbourne Cup hero Protectionist, who has bounced back to form since being reunited with trainer Andreas Wohler.
Among the home defence is last year’s victor Prince Of Penzance, while Matt Cumani, the son of Luca Cumani, could have a runner in his first year as a trainer with Grey Lion, who was formerly trained in France by Andre Fabre.
Luca Cumani, who has made no secret of his desire to win the Melbourne Cup and has twice saddled the runner-up, has no entries in this year’s race.
Star mare Winx, who is widely regarded as one of the best horses in the world and had been prominent in some ante-post lists, has not been entered.
The market for the Melbourne Cup is headed by Order Of St George at 12-1, while Big Orange, who finished fifth in last year’s renewal and has been in stellar form this season, is next in the betting at 20-1.