Aidan O'Brien backs Adelaide for success Down Under

Horse has right profile for Cox Plate, says Ballydoyle handler

Aidan O’Brien believes Adelaide is the right type of horse for Saturday’s Cox Plate at Moonee Valley.

O'Brien has not had any runners in Australia since a rather controversial Melbourne Cup in 2008, when his three representatives were well down the field and the stewards called him back to the racecourse after he had already left.

Since then the Ballydoyle handler has been looking for what he believes is the perfect specimen with which to tackle Australia’s major races.

He told “The horses that you have, play your hand. Every year you don’t have the same horses – [a Cox Plate runner] needs to have the right profile. It is hard to get a horse that we think could fit the right profile.


“Tom [Magnier, of Coolmore Australia] saw this horse at an early stage and he just thought he could be a horse to do that.

“Obviously we have always been aware of it and I have been guided by Tom and what he thought. It is a long way to go and you have to have a horse that you believe could be very competitive. This horse has continued to develop.”

Adelaide won the Secretariat Stakes at Arlington before coming second to Ectot in the Prix Niel at Longchamp.

“The mile and a quarter on a tight track didn’t seemed to be a problem for him [at Arlington]. The only thing about him is when he goes he is a little bit idle. We might not want to get there [to the front] too early with him, but I suppose on a tight track that is not an easy thing to do,” said O’Brien.

Meanwhile, Johnny Murtagh has booked Damien Oliver to ride his Ebor winner Mutual Regard in the Emirates Melbourne Cup .

“I was starting to get concerned when I didn’t have one [a Melbourne Cup ride] and when Johnny rang me on Sunday I was really pleased to take the ride,” Oliver told

“Obviously he’s a good stayer. The Ebor is traditionally a good form-guide for the Melbourne Cup. And without a stand-out Melbourne Cup horse this year, I think he’s got a good chance.

“He’s in good form, Johnny is a good trainer; he’s been down here and experienced the Cup, so he knows what type of horse is needed. So I don’t think he would have brought him all this way if he didn’t think he had a real chance.”

Dandino has been scratched from the race after suffering an injury. The Marco Botti-trained seven-year-old had been due to try to improve on his fifth in the race last year, but after sitting out last Saturday's Caulfield Cup due to lameness, he will now miss the November 4th feature.