A four-strong Aidan O’Brien team will be led by kew Gardens into battle from the Comer Group International Irish St Leger.
It is 12 years since the master of Ballydoyle first maintained the Irish Vintage with the mighty Yeats, also he has has since added to his tally with Septimus (2008), double winner Purchase Of St George (2015 and 2017) and last year’s victor Flag Of Honour.
Kew Gardens is currently pursuing his second Classic victory having won the St Leger at Doncaster with this weekend 12 weeks ago.
The son of Galileo has made just two looks that were competitive so far this year – enduring an reverse in the Stakes at Chester prior to being touched off by Defoe at the Coronation Cup at Epsom.
O’Brien explained:”Kew Gardens is in good form. He went a tiny bit wrong on us, so we had to stop .
“He’s back in good form and is prepared to start.
“He stays very well and receives a fantastic trip. We were excited about going for the Gold Cup with him this season, because we thought he was a Gold Cup horse.
“I would think he’d get further than two kilometers, and that I don’t know if he’d be rapid enough to the Melbourne Cup.”
Southern France – winner of the Irish St Leger Trial over the route and distance last month – has been supplemented to create what is defined as his final start for O’Brien, having been marketed to continue his career in Australia with Ciaron Maher and training partner David Eustace.
Capri along with Cypress Creek complete the Ballydoyle quartet.
Joseph O’Brien has three contenders, together with the Irish Derby hero Latrobe combined by Twilight Payment, making his debut for the lawn of last year.
The home group is completed with Dermot Weld’s Irish Oaks fourth and Galtres Stakes winner Search For a Song, although the Sylvester Kirk-trained Salouen and Charlie Appleby’s Cross Counter have made the trip from Britain.
Cross Counter became the first British-trained winner of the Melbourne Cup last November and also has since done wrong – before running with charge supporting celebrity stayer Stradivarius in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot and the Goodwood Cup, winning the Dubai Gold Cup at March.
Appleby said:”He’s a horse that constantly travels nicely throughout his races, and also I think coming back to a mile and six (furlongs) will suit him.
“He’s run two very solid races because he came back into Europe – finishing fourth at the Gold Cup and third at Goodwood. When he brings that level of shape he’s going to be a player.
“I am hoping to get a fantastic run, and it will be nice springboard before going back to Melbourne.”
The Salouen measures around a mile and also three-quarters for the very first time in his profession. The stable celebrity of kirk was last seen finishing fourth supporting Enable in the King George at Ascot in July.
“He is in fantastic form, and we’re excited about stepping up him in trip. We probably ought to have tried it before today,” said Kirk.
“It’s a good race, and we’re taking about the O’Brien battalion.
“Here is the grade we’re at, so we’ll see how we go.
“I would not mind a good deal of rain coming from nowhere!”