Yet to find peak condition in the lead-up to the country’s headline race this afternoon, punters have completely abandoned Mr O’Ceirin in Melbourne Cup betting markets; seeing seven-year-old figure as the field’s rank outsider at a quote of $201 for success.
Claiming ten race wins and a further six minor places from his 38 competitive appearances at the races so far, Mr O’Ceirin appeared to be building to the task when running sixth in the Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) and fourth in the Group 3 JRA Cup (2040m), but was disappointing when running seventh in the Listed Cranbourne Cup (2025m) last time out.
Thrilled to be saddling a runner in the 2014 Melbourne Cup field, trainer Ciaron Maher he is confident the Postponed gelding will get the trip and is hoping for nothing more than a competitive performance.
“He is drawn wide but I think he will run the two miles,” Maher told The Age.
“The track is probably not going to be totally to his liking, being so hard, but at least we are there.
“We knew a while out we would get a run, so we have just got him ready for this day.
“He is fit and well and he will give a good account of himself.”
Running eleventh in the Group 3 Victoria Handicap (1400m) first-up on April 19th, Mr O’Ceirin ran a close second to champion mare Streama in the Group 2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) on May 3rd before a luckless run in the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) on May 17th.
Returning to competitive form when second in the Group 2 Eagle Farm Cup (2200m) just two weeks later, the gelding out of Cadell finished fifth amongst classy competition in the Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m), but was disappointing when only managing ninth in the Listed Caloundra Cup (2400m) on June 28th; a race for which he jumped clear favourite.
Given a brief freshen up before running fifth in the Listed Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock Stakes (1700m) in his only other start prior to the Kingston Town Stakes, Mr O’Ceirin appears likely to jump as the longest-odds chance in Melbourne Cup betting markets at Ladbrokes Australia.