Aidan O’Brien is hoping to cap a record-breaking season with a first victory in the Emirates Melbourne Cup tomorrow morning.
The handler, who recently set a new record for Group One winners in a year, will have Johannes Vermeer racing in the ‘race that stops a nation’ at Flemington. The horse, who was the winner of a Group Three at the Curragh in July, has already enjoyed success in Australia finishing second in the Ladbrokes Stakes and third in the Caulfield Cup.
O’Brien said, “Everyone is happy with him down there. His two runs were good and he didn’t get a clear passage in the straight last time. But whether he wants that (two-mile) trip, I’m really not sure.”
Frankie Dettori is also seeking a first success in the Cup. Dettori will be riding last year’s winner Almandin, trained by Robert Hickmott and owned by Lloyd and Nick Williams.
Speaking recently Dettori said, “It’s brilliant to get the ride on Almandin. I have ridden for the owner before, so fingers crossed he can do it again.”
The trainer Willie Mullins also has three entries for the race, led by Max Dynamite who came within half a length of winning in 2015. Speaking to www.racing.com Mullins said, “We didn’t enter Max Dynamite in really big races (this year) as we felt he had enough weight if he stayed sound and everything came right. He won an ordinary race at home, but at least that showed us that he’s back in form and we think he’s in good form. He’s got a nice weight, a nice draw and a good jockey (Zac Purton). What more can we ask for?”
Another entry to watch is Nakeeta from Scottish trainer Iain Jardine. Nakeeta won the Ebor at York in August and the trainer is hopeful of his chances.