Without doubt the rank outsider confirmed in the Melbourne Cup 2014 final field, trainer Ciaron Maher and connections of seven-year-old Mr O’Ceirin are hopeful the well-trialled stayer will produce a competitive performance in Tuesday’s Race That Stops a Nation.
Securing ten race wins and a further six minor places form his 38 competitive appearances on course so far, Mr O’Ceirin was not expected to make the final field for this year’s edition of the Melbourne Cup but did enough in to lead-up to warrant a berth.
A noted performer on softer racing surfaces, Maher said a shower in the lead-up to the Melbourne Cup 2014 would be favourable, but is thrilled to be saddling a runner in the country’s headline race.
“We would have loved a few inches of rain but that does not look like happening. It’s been well documented Mr O’Ceirin’s best efforts are on rain-affected tracks,” Maher told The Standard.
“I just wish we had a bit of give in the track but in saying that it’s great to have a Melbourne Cup runner. It’s a great thrill for the owners and me to have a runner.
“We just hope the horse is competitive. We’ve got our fingers crossed that he runs well.”
Having been involved in horse racing for over 20 years, part-owner Geoff McLaren said it’s a thrill to be involved in the Cup Carnival and is pleased to have secured the services of up-and-coming jockey Chad Schofield.
“It was really exciting to go to the barrier draw and mix it with all the other owners and trainers from all over the world,” McLaren said.
“Chad Schofield has been booked to ride the horse. He’s a very good jockey.”
Confirmed to line-up for his 11th competitive hit out in the Melbourne Cup 2014 this time in, Mr O’Ceirin finished eleventh in the Group 3 Victoria Handicap (1400m) first-up on April 19th, but found competitive form over the Brisbane Winter Carnival; finishing second in the Group 2 Eagle Farm Cup (2000m) and a credible fifth in the Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m).
Given a brief freshen-up over July, the Postponed gelding finished fifth in the Listed Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock Stakes (1700m) and sixth in the Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) on September 13th before placing fourth in the Group 3 JRA Cup (2040m) and seventh in the Listed Cranbourne Cup (2025m) most recently.
Allocated barrier 19, Mr O’Ceirin is currently offered at the longest-odds chance in Melbourne Cup 2014 betting markets at a quote of $201 for success with Ladbrokes Australia.