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joseph wants oz ride

Joseph O'Brien (pictured) has a busy weekend in store as he jets off to ride the 11/10 favourite Magician in the Arlington Million later this evening before returning to Dundalk for five rides tomorrow and all the while the current champion jockey will be keeping a close eye on his weight as he still hopes to have some chance of riding Australia in Wednesday's Juddmonte International at York.

O'Brien's father Aidan had last week suggested that a new rider may have to be found for the dual Derby winner, who hasn't raced since winning the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh in impressive style. The three-year-old is set to carry 8st12lbs for his first clash against the older horsesM which is two pounds below his regular rider's minimum weight.

Declarations for the Juddmonte take place on Monday morning and Joseph said: "I might ride him yet. We'll see what happens over the next couple of days. I'd love to ride him."

Ryan Moore is Ballydoyle's 'go-to man' for big races when O'Brien is unavailable but his association with Michael Stoute could mean he too would have to miss out on the ride on Australia as Stoute is due to run second favourite Telescope, although Herald columnist Mick Kinane suggested last night that it wouldn't be straightforward for Moore.

Kinane wrote: "If Joseph doesn't ride him (Australia), we'll get to find out who has more pull over Ryan Moore - Ballydoyle or Sir Michael Stoute and I wouldn't say it will be that straightforward for Stoutey!"

Bookmakers Paddy Power opened a betting market on who would ride the colt with Seamie Heffernan installed as the 4/7 favourite and Richard Hughes next best at 7/2 in a market without either O'Brien or Moore.

O'Brien added: "He seems in good form. He's going to come on for his first run (after break since Curragh), if it's next week.

"If the ground is good and quick, he might take his chance."


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