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O'Brien favouring Cup tilt with Cox Plate fourth Magic Wand.

Byline: Jack Haynes in Melbourne

Ballydoyle are preparing a threepronged attack in a bid to land a first lexus Melbourne Cup tomorrow week with aidan o'Brien leaning towards trying Cox Plate fourth Magic Wand over two miles for the first time in the a$8 million (PS4.25m/€4.93m) showpiece at Flemington.

Magic Wand was beaten four lengths by Japan's lys Gracieux in the ladbrokes-sponsored Moonee Valley feature on Saturday and boasts winning form over 1m4f courtesy of victory in the Ribblesdale at Royal ascot last year.

a five-time runner-up in top-level company, Magic Wand is a general 33-1 to land australia's most highprofile race, while Hunting Horn was shortened to 20-1 (from 66) following his win in Saturday's Moonee Valley Gold Cup.

TJ Comerford, travelling head lad for o'Brien, said yesterday: "They've come out of their races in great order.

"Magic Wand ran well in a very good race. It was a great effort from her and I don't think the ground was quick enough for her as some of her best runs have come on fast ground in america. aidan is leaning towards the Melbourne Cup with her rather than the Mackinnon at this stage.

"Hunting Horn is sometimes a handful and bouncing around the place in the mornings but he was the quietest horse at the races yesterday. They say you want a mile and a quarter horse to win the Melbourne Cup so hopefully that rings true."

St leger fifth Il Paradiso will head straight to the race and is pleasing the o'Brien travelling team. He is a general 16-1 chance for the Group 1 o'Brien saddled runner-up Johannes Vermeer in two years ago.

Comerford said: "He's very laid-back and going very well. He looks a million dollars and will head straight there."

Hong Kong's leading rider Joao Moreira is on standby to ride favourite Constantinople, formerly trained by o'Brien and a best-priced 13-2 with bet365 and William Hill, should Glen Boss be unsuccessful in appealing against his six-meeting suspension for careless riding at Randwick on Saturday.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:Jack Haynes in Melbourne
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Oct 28, 2019
Words:343
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