Entries revealed for the Melbourne Cup – The Sun

CONNECTIONS of Clondaw Warrior are hoping he can claw his way into booking a place in the Emirates Melbourne Cup.

The nine-year-old needs to go up a little more in the ratings to make the cut for the race and a prominent display on his next start – in either the Doncaster Cup or the Irish St Leger – should do the trick.

Willie Mullins' admirable dual-purpose performer showed he has a tremendous constitution by finishing second in the American St Leger at Arlington just 16 days after his win in the Galway Hurdle.

"He is a magic horse and has come back from America looking fantastic," said Mullins' son, Patrick.

"For horse that ran in Galway, then went to America to have a race, you wouldn't know it to look at him as he has kept his condition fantastically.

"He is entered in the Melbourne Cup. He will probably run in either the Doncaster Cup or Irish St Leger.

"If he could run well in either of those we would be very keen to send him to Melbourne.

"I think Melbourne will suit him. A fast ground and a fast pace is his cup of tea. If we can just get him up a few more pounds in his next run and if we can, he will be going Down Under.

"It took us a long time to get him right over hurdles. He got beat in his first few runs over hurdles for us.

"He was not straightforward but he is probably a lot sounder now than when he first came. He was not a fantastic mover when he came.

"He is moving better now and is a happy horse. He has his confidence back now.

"Ruby (Walsh) has always been of the opinion that he wants to be passing horses and be dropped in. That's what he did in Galway and in America."

Clondaw Warrior is just one of a number of British and Irish horses in with a shout of making the cut.

Order Of St George is one of seven Aidan O'Brien horses that feature in the nominations.

The prolific Gold Cup hero is still in the hat for the great race along with stablemates Bondi Beach, Sword Fighter, Unicorn, The Major General and major Ladbrokes St Leger players Idaho and Housesofparliament.

Compatriot Heartbreak City won the Ebor at York and he, too, features on the list for Tony Martin.

Willie Mullins saddled Max Dynamite into second place in the Melbourne Cup last year and he will be back again this year along with Wicklow Brave and Clondaw Warrior.

Roger Charlton's Quest For More is, as was expected, absent from the nominations, but last year's fourth Trip To Paris still has the option for the Ed Dunlop team.

The in-form Big Orange finished fifth in the Melbourne Cup last November and could try again for Michael Bell.

Barsanti (Roger Varian), Exosphere (Sir Michael Stoute) and Kinema (Ralph Beckett) are also in the frame at this early stage.

Godolphin trainers are typically well represented, with Charlie Appleby having entered Francis Of Assisi, Oceanographer, Qewy, Scottish and Second Wave.

Saeed bin Suroor has the choice of Beautiful Romance, Elite Army, Important Message, Secret Number and Sky Hunter.

Prince Of Penzance and Protectionist, the respective last two winners of the Melbourne Cup, could try for more glory, though the latter, trained by Andreas Wohler, is thought unlikely to run.

Group One-winning colt Erupt (Francis Graffard) is also in the shake-up for France.

Japanese star Curren Mirotic and American stayer Da Big Hoss, who defeated Clondaw Warrior into second place in the American St Leger, are also in contention.

Racing Victoria chief handicapper Greg Carpenter said: "The depth amongst the international contingent is once again exceptional with the Ascot Gold Cup winner Order Of St George, Goodwood Cup winner Big Orange, Ebor winner Heartbreak City and Tenno Sho runner-up Curren Mirotic amongst 31 international entries."


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