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Majority owner Lloyd Williams has confirmed Order Of St George is a “95 per cent chance” of missing out on the 2016 Melbourne Cup down under despite being paid up for during the second acceptances for the Caulfield Cup this week.
Racing Victoria (RV) took 58 second acceptances for the $3.15 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m), run on October 15, this Tuesday including six international entries.
Three of the internationals are prepared by Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien including his equal 58kg original top-weights Order Of St George and Highland Reel.
Fellow five-year-old Galileo stallion Highland Reel is better fancied in the futures Caulfield Cup odds paying $13, the Group 1 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2400m) winner boasting a gun record over the mile and a half (6-3-1-0).
Order Of St George is also at $31 and despite being in quarantine at Coolmore HQ in Ireland, Williams rates him only a five per cent chance of making the trip to Australia for the Caulfield Cup and the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m).
“He’s a 95 per cent chance of not coming but he has gone into quarantine,” Williams told RV.
“He’s more than likely to run in the Arc, but he’s in [quarantine] as an insurance as the Arc is being run in Chantilly this year and so we’ll keep an eye on the weather and the track.”
The Group 1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe runs over the mile and a half at Longchamp in France on the first weekend of October.
Order Of St George is a dour stayer with winning form up to 4000m in the Group 1 Ascot Gold Cup back in mid-June.
He has since won the Group 3 Irish St Leger Trial (2816m) before his close second as the beaten odds-on favourite behind Wicklow Brave in the Group 1 Irish St Leger (2816m) at The Curragh last time out on September 11.
Despite this gun form, Williams believes the horse is out-weighted for success in the Caulfield Cup and the Melbourne Cup 2016.
Run as Flemington Race 7 on Tuesday November 1, the Melbourne Cup entries currently feature 123 nominations.
Melbourne Cup weights are topped by Order Of St George and the 2014 winner Protectionist on 58kg.
Williams is a four-time winning Melbourne Cup owner having taken out the ‘race that stops a nation’ with: Just A Dash (1981), What A Nuisance (1985), Efficient (2007) and Green Moon (2012).
Along with unlikely runner Order Of St George, Williams’ two other Caulfield Cup second acceptors are Robert Hickmott-trained imports The United States (55.5kg) and Gallante.
Seven-year-old The United States won the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill in March before a second to Lucia Valentina in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m).
He was last seen running a first-up sixth behind Cox Plate hope Awesome Rock in the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley, and pays $13 in Caulfield Cup futures betting.
Gallante is further down the markets at $31, the 53.5kg Caulfield Cup light weight having won the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) back in April before a first-up second to Jameka in the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) last Saturday at Caulfield.
Jameka incurred a half-kilo penalty for her Naturalism win, which gained her a ballot free ride into the Caulfield Cup field.
Ciaron Maher’s Crown Oaks winning mare is now allocated 52kg in the Caulfield Cup handicaps and is $9 second favourite in betting behind last Saturday’s Hill Stakes winner Hartnell.
Check out the Top 40 in all-in Caulfield Cup 2016 betting below, prices provided by Ladbrokes.com.au.
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