Sport Horse Racing

Friday 15 November 2019

Mixed fortunes for the seven Irish challengers after Melbourne Cup barrier draw

The Aidan O'Brien trained Hunting Horn
The Aidan O'Brien trained Hunting Horn

Michael Verney in Melbourne

The seven Irish challengers had mixed luck after the barrier draw was revealed for Tuesday's Lexus Melbourne Cup.

A low draw has proved to be beneficial down through the years in "the race that stops a nation" and Joseph O'Brien, fresh from his Breeders' Cup success with Iridessa in Santa Anita, had different fortunes with his four runners.

The 26-year-old – who famously claimed the €5million prize two years ago with Rekindling – landed the plum draw in stall one with Master Of Reality, which will be partnered by flamboyant Italian rider Frankie Dettori.

However, his remaining trio were all handed double-figure alleys with Saturday's Hotham Stakes winner Downdraft (John Allen) in 15 while Twilight Payment (Hugh Bowman) will come from 19 and 2018 Irish Derby hero Latrobe (James McDonald) will exit from stall 22.

Aidan O'Brien is chasing his first Melbourne Cup success in the early hours of Tuesday morning but the Ballydoyle maestro will also have to do things the hard way if he is to break his Flemington duck.

Hunting Horn (Seamie Heffernan) – already a winner Down Under when landing the Group Two Moonee Valley Gold Cup last weekend – comes from a decent draw in 11 but his other two runners were not so lucky.

Il Paradiso, which will be partnered by Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf hero hero Wayne Lordan, exits from stall 17 while Magic Wand (Ryan Moore) has the most difficult task of all coming from stall 24.

Meanwhile, Japanese raider Mer De Glace – trained by Hisashi Shimizu – displaced Constantinople (formerly trained by Aidan O'Brien) as favourite having drawn favourably in gate two.

Online Editors

The Left Wing: Champions Cup preview, the World Cup hangover and Joe Schmidt's next team

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport