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Six Aidan O’Brien horses enter quarantine for Melbourne spring

Chasing his first win in Australia’s greatest race, the Melbourne Cup, leading Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien could have a team of six horses in Melbourne searching for Group 1 spoils during the Spring Carnival. 

Racing Victoria general manager of international operations, Paul Bloodworth, confirmed the O'Brien stable would have six horses enter quarantine in Ireland on Wednesday. 

The six horses are: Anthony Van Dyck (Caulfield Cup & Melbourne Cup), Tiger Moth (Melbourne Cup); Santiago (Melbourne Cup); Armory (Cox Plate & Mackinnon Stakes); Wichita (Cantala Stakes) and Magic Wand (Cox Plate, Mackinnon Stakes). 

"Aidan has advised that these horses are going into quarantine on Wednesday morning, so that's the first step because you can't come to Melbourne unless you do your two weeks quarantine in Ireland," Bloodworth told RSN927. 

"They have in the past put more horses into quarantine than have actually come into Melbourne so I'm not trying to put a dampener on things here, but that's just the slight thing we have to wait for to see who they bring. 

"But I think it's a very good indication because of the circumstances of this year around getting here and all the work they've done to get their staff here." 

There will be only one shipment of international horses this year, due to arrive on October 3 and finish quarantine at Werribee on October 16 in time for horses to run at Caulfield the following day. 

Aidan O'Brien at the 2019 Royal Ascot meeting, picture Liesl King

TAB Fixed Odds has reacted to the news with Anthony Van Dyck, victorious over Stradivarius in the Prix Foy at Longchamp last Sunday, tightening from $51 to $17 for the Caulfield Cup on October 17 and $51 to $26 for the Melbourne Cup at Flemington on November 3. 

Santiago, winner of the Irish Derby over stablemate Tiger Moth at Curragh in June, has tightened from $51 to $15 for the Melbourne Cup and shares that line of betting with his stablemate after Tiger Moth’s win in the Saturday’s Group 3 Kilternan Stakes over 2400m at Leopardstown. 

Armory, third in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown last Saturday, has shortened from $26 to $13 for the Cox Plate at The Valley on October 24 and has been inserted as the $6 favourite for the Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington on November 7. 

Last year’s Mackinnon Stakes winner Magic Wand has firmed from $26 to $15 for the Cox Plate and $11 to $8 for the Mackinnon Stakes. 

Due to Armory and Magic Wand shortening in Cox Plate betting, Russian Camelot has eased as favourite from $5 to $6 while Verry Elleegant has also drifted from $9 to $11. 

Wichita, winner of the Group 2 Park Stakes over 1406 metres at Doncaster, is now the $6 favourite for the Cantala Stakes at Flemington on October 31. 

Owner Lloyd Williams is likely to have four European-based contenders for this year's Spring Carnival as he chases a seventh Melbourne Cup success. 

Williams told racing.com last year's Melbourne Cup runners Master Of Reality and Twilight Payment will be joined by Buckhurst and Pondus. 

The quartet will be subject to inspection by trainer Joseph O'Brien before entering quarantine in Ireland on Wednesday. 

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