iskander

Septimus still favourite for Cup


Irish horse Septimus remains favourite for the Melbourne Cup with trainer Aidan O’Brien due to arrive in Australia tomorrow to oversee the final week of preparations.

Aiden O'Brien

O’Brien had a fruitless day at the Breeders’ Cup meeting at Santa Anita in California with Henrythenavigator producing the best result for the Coolmore team with his second to Raven’s Pass in the $US5 million ($A7.43 million) Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Septimus is at $4.50 with most bookmakers to win the Melbourne Cup ahead of English stayer Mad Rush ($6.50) and last year’s winner Efficient who has eased from $8 to $9.

Mad Rush is trained by Luca Cumani who produced 2007 runner-up Purple Moon while the O’Brien-trained Mahler finished third.

O’Brien also has Honolulu ($18) and Alessandro Volta ($61) heading to the Cup while Australia’s own O’Brien, Danny, will also have three representatives with Gallopin racing his way in with victory in yesterday’s Cathay Pacific Cup.

As well as Gallopin, O’Brien will saddle up last year’s Caulfield Cup winner Master O’Reilly and this year’s Caulfield Cup placegetter Barbaricus.

Racing Victoria’s chief handicapper Greg Carpenter issued Gallopin with a one kilogram penalty after the Cup (2500m) taking him to 52kg and 30th in order of entry.

“It was his best win and I’ve given him a kilo,” Carpenter said.

“That should get him into the Cup.”

Mad Rush’s stablemate Bauer received a kilo for his win in last week’s Geelong Cup which also took his weight to 52kg.

Bauer will attempt to emulate 20020 Melbourne Cup winner Media Puzzle who earned his way into the race with victory at Geelong.

On A Jeune won the 2005 Geelong Cup before finishing second to Makybe Diva at Flemington.