Danny O’Brien Confident in Homegrown Melbourne Cup Chance Vow And Declare

November 3, 2019

Danny O’Brien Confident in Homegrown Melbourne Cup Chance Vow And Declare

 

It’s been 10-years since an Australian horse last won the Melbourne Cup with Shocking crossing the line in a famous 2009 victory for trainer Mark Kavanagh.

The $7 million race has been dominated by internationals over the last two decades leaving very few windows of opportunity for home grown talent, but trainer Danny O’Brien is hoping to put an end to that drought on Tuesday as his four-year-old gelding Vow And Declare steps out against a total of 11 international rivals.

The odds are already stacked against the son of Declaration Of War after drawing gate 21 during Saturday’s barrier draw. Bookmakers reacted accordingly drifting the Caulfield Cup second place-getter out to $12.00 odds, but that hasn’t stopped O’Brien from campaigning for the feel-good Australian story.

“This is the one… it is a very elusive target, more and more so with the internationalism of the race in the last decade,” O’Brien told the Herald Sun.

“There are very few Australian connections that even get a look at it these days. It would be nice to think the public was keen to see an Australian horse win it, and our horse ticks every box.”

Trainer Danny O’Brien is hoping his horse can bring the Melbourne Cup home to Australia with Vow And Declare. Photo Credit: Ultimate Racing Photos.

Vow And Declare ran a brave second behind this year’s Cup favourite Mer De Glace in the Caulfield Cup a fortnight ago. The talented stayer will be third-up on Tuesday in his second Group 1 start, but after Warning, also by Declaration Of War, won the $2 million Victoria Derby on Saturday, there is reason for hope.

“I think we can probably overanalyze the barriers for the Melbourne Cup. Ultimately, it’s a two-mile race and there’s a long run to the first turn. Our boy is going to settle midfield or beyond, I don’t think it’ll be a problem,” O’Brien told Sky Racing.

In a bizarre twist of fate, the last horse to win the Cup from barrier 21 was Shocking back in 2009. Vow And Declare is also hoping to become just the 10th horse to win after a previous Cup placing.

O’Brien said after Saturday’s draw that his horses fitness is spot on for a step up to the two-mile race that stops a nation. If the rain stays away, he also thinks it will suit Vow And Declare perfectly.

“He couldn’t be better. He ran really well for us at Caulfield in the Caulfield Cup, he’s come out of it in really good shape, fitness is right where we it to be at the two-mile here on Tuesday.

I think the track here is as good a racetrack as there is in the world. We’re not going to get a significant amount of rain here – it’ll be a perfect track and that’ll be fine for us” O’Brien went on to say.

Four-year-old’s have enjoyed the most success at the Melbourne Cup with 45 wins to their name. O’Brien is also hoping Australian jockey Craig Williams, who is yet to win the Cup, can bring with him the same form that saw him win the Kennedy Cantala aboard Fierce Impact on Saturday.

“Any person that’s ever stepped on a racetrack in Australia would dream of being involved. We’ve got an Australian horse that’s owned by Australians, ridden by an Australian, trained by an Australian, so it’d be fantastic” O’Brien said.

Complete 2019 Melbourne Cup odds can be viewed here thanks to Ladbrokes.com.au.

2019 Lexus Melbourne Cup Field 

# Form (Last 10) Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight
1 12x1x1x434 CROSS COUNTER (GB) Charlie Appleby William Buick 5 57.5kg
2 211x11x1x1 MER DE GLACE (JPN) Hisashi Shimizu Damian Lane 2 56kg
3 7250×14335 MASTER OF REALITY (IRE) Joseph O’Brien Frankie Dettori 1 55.5kg
4 2x0x1322x3 MIRAGE DANCER (GB) Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young Ben Melham 13 55.5kg
5 37×3264413 SOUTHERN FRANCE (IRE) Ciaron Maher & David Eustace Mark Zahra 14 55.5kg
6 3344465881 HUNTING HORN (IRE) Aidan O’Brien Seamie Heffernan 11 55kg
7 220×344216 LATROBE (IRE) Joseph O’Brien James McDonald 22 55kg
8 4x1x723516 MUSTAJEER (GB) Kris Lees Damien Oliver 6 55kg
9 251557×790 ROSTROPOVICH (IRE) David & B Hayes & T Dabernig Dwayne Dunn 12 55kg
10 423x2411x7 TWILIGHT PAYMENT (IRE) Joseph O’Brien Hugh Bowman 19 55kg
11 x1x34x5125 FINCHE (GB) Chris Waller Kerrin McEvoy 4 54kg
12 8x49x58321 PRINCE OF ARRAN (GB) Charlie Fellowes Michael Walker 8 54kg
13 1x6x237x4x RAYMOND TUSK (IRE) Richard Hannon Jamie Spencer 3 54kg
14 x196112x31 DOWNDRAFT (IRE) Joseph O’Brien John Allen 15 53.5kg
15 2×53220224 MAGIC WAND (IRE) Aidan O’Brien Ryan Moore 24 53.5kg
16 2x30x80709 NEUFBOSC (FR) David & B Hayes & T Dabernig Luke Nolen 23 53.5kg
17 00x048x070 SOUND (GER) Michael Moroney James Winks 10 53.5kg
18 1514132×41 SURPRISE BABY (NZ) Paul Preusker Jordan Childs 20 53.5kg
19 531×212224 CONSTANTINOPLE (IRE) David & B Hayes & T Dabernig Joao Moreira 7 52.5kg
20 322×17135 IL PARADISO (USA) Aidan O’Brien Wayne Lordan 17 52.5kg
21 x11111x467 STEEL PRINCE (IRE) Anthony Freedman Brett Prebble 16 52.5kg
22 0141×59195 THE CHOSEN ONE (NZ) Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman Tim Clark 18 52kg
23 1x36621x42 VOW AND DECLARE Danny O’Brien Craig Williams 21 52kg
24 x059x87873 YOUNGSTAR Chris Waller Tommy Berry 9 52kg

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