Leading owner Lloyd Williams has purchased a part share in Coolmore-owned stayers Order Of St George, Kingfisher and Bondi Beach, but the trio are still no certainties to make the trip to Australia for the 2015 Melbourne Cup.
Order Of St George, Kingfisher and Bondi Beach have all been included in the 2015 Melbourne Cup nominations and are weighted to earn a start in ‘the race that stops a nation’, but part-owner Nick Williams revealed that the horses remain in the care of Aidan O’Brien and the leading Irish trainer will make the final decision on whether any or all of the stayers enter quarantine next Thursday to prepare for the trip to Australia.
Bondi Beach is the most fancied of the three Melbourne Cup hopefuls acquired by Williams and he stamped himself as a leading contender for the race when he took out the Group 1 Ladbrokes St Leger Stakes (2937m) on protest at Doncaster on September 12.
A Northern Hemisphere three-year-old has never won the Melbourne Cup, but Mahler finished a gallant third behind Williams-owned Efficient in 2007 and Adelaide won the Cox Plate (2040m) for Coolmore at the same age last year.
Order Of St George will also take winning form into the Melbourne Cup after he recorded a dominant 11 lengths victory in the Group 1 Irish St Leger (2816m) at Curragh on September 13.
The Galileo colt started his racing season with a close second behind Bondi Beach in the Group 3 Curragh Cup (2816m) on June 28, but he returned to winning form in the Her Majesty’s Plate (2592m) at Down Royal on July 24 before he recorded dominant wins in both the Group 3 Irish St Leger Trial Stakes (2816m) at Curragh on August 23 and the Irish St Leger.
The Irish St Leger has produced a number of Melbourne Cup contenders over the past two decades, but Vintage Crop in 1993 remains the only horse to compete the Irish St Leger/Melbourne Cup double.
Rounding out the possible Melbourne Cup runners purchased by Williams is Kingfisher, who was included in the initial entries for the $6 million race last year.
Kingfisher took out the Saval Beg Stakes (2816m) at Leopardstown on June 5 and he finished a tough second behind Trip To Paris in the Group 1 Ascot Gold Cup (4023m) on June 18, but he was slightly disappointing in the Irish St Leger Trial Stakes and he was beaten a long way in the Irish St Leger.
O’Brien has indicated that Kingfisher and Bondi Beach are both likely to make the trip to Australia for the Melbourne Cup, while Order Of St George remains an outside chance to give the breeding giant three runners in the Melbourne Cup for the first time since 2008.
Order Of St George and Bondi Beach are both currently available at 2015 Melbourne Cup odds of $21, while Kingfisher is priced at $26 to give Coolmore their first ever win in the race.