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Irish St Leger winner Wicklow Brave earns chance in Melbourne Cup

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Irish stayer Wicklow Brave has jump to the top of the Melbourne Cup market order after leading all of the way to win the Group 1 €300,000 Palmerstown House Estate Irish St Leger (2816m) at the Curragh in Ireland on the weekend.

Irish trainer Willie Mullins is keen for Wicklow Brave to run in the Melbourne Cup after running second with Max Dynamite, above, pick colours, last year. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Irish trainer Willie Mullins is keen for Wicklow Brave to run in the Melbourne Cup after running second with Max Dynamite, above, pick colours, last year. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Wicklow Brave now shares favouritism at Ladbrokes.com.au for the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 1 at $17 with the Lloyd Williams owned The United States and Order Of St George.

The Aidan O’Brien trained Order Of St George was sitting at the top of the Melbourne Cup market and was sent out as the odds on favourite for the Irish St Leger but was unable to peg back Wicklow Brave who was rated perfectly in front by Frankie Dettori.

“Frankie was very brave,” trainer Willie Mullins said.

“Ruby Walsh had ridden his last piece of work and said there might not be anything making the running, so why not make it. I said I had the same thoughts and I’d discuss it with Frankie. It just worked out fantastic.

“He’s a horse we’d been holding up all our lives. Every time we held him up and it looked like he’d win a race, he wouldn’t produce what we asked him to produce.”

Wicklow Brace is nominated for both the Melbourne Cup and the Group 1 $3m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 15 and will head to Newmarket to start his quarantine before heading to Melbourne for the Spring Carnival.

“He’ll be in Newmarket (for quarantine) by Tuesday I think, and then Melbourne. I have nothing else for the race,” Mullins said.

“He goes on the ground, he’s a hardy beast at this stage of his career, he’ll take whatever Melbourne throws at him and he’s used to travelling as well, which is a huge help when coming from Europe.

“Nick (Owner Nick Peacock) just said do whatever we can to get him to Melbourne. It’s a hell of a race, a hell of an atmosphere; we’d look forward to having a runner in it every year if we could.”

Mullins has saddled up three previous Melbourne Cup runners with Holy Orders finishing seventeenth to Makybe Diva in 2003, Simenon was fifth to Fiorente in 2013 and last year’s runner up to Prince Of Penzance, Max Dynamite.

Early Melbourne Cup market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $17 Order Off St George, The United States, Wicklow Brave, $19 Hartnell, Signoff, $21 Big Orange, Idaho, Curren Mirotic, Protectionist, $26 Erupt, Our Ivanhowe, Preferment, Tarzino.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.

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