Aidan O’Brien’s travelling foreman T J Comerford believes the stable is in a good position to land its first Melbourne Cup with Anthony Van Dyck and Tiger Moth.
O’Brien is keen to win the race and the closest he has come was when Johannes Vermeer finished second to Rekindling , who was trained by his son Joseph, in the 2017 edition.
“We’ve got two good chances. Anthony Van Dyck has won an English Derby and Tiger Moth a Group Three at his last start and a second in the Irish Derby before that and he’s in well on the weights,” Comerford said.
The 2019 English Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck finished second in the Caulfield Cup to Verry Elleegant at his Australian debut on a soft track.
Comerford said he thought the prospect of running on a firm track at Flemington would improve the chances of both O’Brien-trained horses.
However, he felt barrier 17 contributed more to Anthony Van Dyck’s Caulfield Cup defeat than the ground.
“It was the draw in the Caulfield Cup, although he could have done with the ground being a little quicker,” he said.
Tiger Moth is equal favourite at $7 with Sir Dragonet for Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup with Anthony Van Dyck sharing the second line of betting at $9.
Tiger Moth, who will be ridden by Kerrin McEvoy, has had only four starts and won the Kilternan Stakes at Leopardstown at his last start over 2414 metres.
“He should get the two miles. Galileo’s should do that,” Comerford said,
He added that Tiger Moth’s work on Tuesday at Werribee couldn’t have been any better and had sharpened the horse up.
Comerford also announced that globe-trotting mare Magic Wand, who has won over $6.6 million, had been retired.
She was ruled out of the Cox Plate after suffering a stone bruise and the stable lost the race to get her fit for the Melbourne Cup.
“We were planning on running her in the Melbourne Cup and the Mackinnon but we need time to get over this injury,” Comerford said.
The stable will be represented by Cox Plate runner-up Armory in the Mackinnon on the final day of the Flemington carnival.