GALILEO'S CHOICE, Dermot Weld's well-backed hope for the Melbourne Cup, endured a torrid trip en route to Australia but is now on the road to recovery according to his trainer.
WELD, the first European trainer to win the famous race, will look for a third win with Galileo's Choice to follow on from Vintage Crop in 1993 and Media Puzzle in 2002.
The Curragh-based trainer revealed yesterday: "They had a very tough flight, a very difficult landing and a lot of problems with the facilities in quarantine when the horses landed.
"There was a hailstone shower when they arrived and it just wasn't ideal for my horse."
The race takes place on November 6, which gives the six-year-old good time to recover and return to full work ahead of the bold attempt on 'the race that stops a nation'.
"My fellow just spiked a temperature and initially had to have a few antibiotics, so that wasn't nice, but he seems to be responding rapidly. His temperature is back to normal and he's back eating, but it did take a bit out of him," said Weld.
Ireland's winning-most trainer admitted: "One of the reasons I sent him down a bit in advance was to allow for him having a few travel problems. He can be a little bit claustrophobic as well and he's got the time to recover now."
Initially, Galileo's Choice was 50/1 in a place, but is now a general 16/1 shot for the Melbourne Cup.
Meanwhile, Colm O'Donoghue looks set to bid for Melbourne Cup glory after committing to retain his partnership with Marco Botti's Jakkalberry for both the Caulfield Cup and the Melbourne Cup.
A clash with Champions Day at Ascot and big racing in Japan had left a doubt over O'Donoghue's availability for the Caulfield Cup but the Ballydoyle-based rider was told he'd have to be onboard for the Caulfield Cup to be considered for the Melbourne Cup.
Darren Dance, representing the owner's Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock, said: "I said to him that if he couldn't ride at Caulfield he couldn't ride in the Melbourne Cup and he said he'd definitely be right to ride in both because he wanted to ride in the Melbourne Cup."
O'Donoghue won the American St Leger on Jakkalberry earlier in the season.
A decision on whether Camelot will go for Sunday's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe or not will not be decided until tomorrow or Wednesday, according to trainer, Aidan O'Brien.
O'Brien will not make a decision until midweek about his three-time Classic winner who was surprisingly overturned in his Triple Crown tilt at Doncaster earlier in the month.
However, O'Brien did reveal that if Camelot does run, he will have a new jockey for the first time as Joseph O'Brien will not be able to do the weight of 8st 11lbs.
O'Brien regularly rides at 9st and while he can do 8st 13lbs, the three-year-old weight in the Arc is too far below his minimum and the trainer said: "Unless we cut off one of his arms, he won't be riding Camelot."