Mixed fortunes for Aidan O'Brien at draw

By: Michael Manley Saturday 31 October 2020

Master Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien has had conflicting fortunes in the Melbourne Cup barrier draw with Anthony Van Dyck coming up with gate three and Tiger Moth barrier 23 ahead of his bid for a first Melbourne Cup.

After the draw Tiger Moth lost outright favouritism drifting from $7 to $8.

In contrast stablemate Anthony Van Dyck firmed from $9 into $8.

That pair joined the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained Cox Plate winner Sir Dragonet, who drew barrier 14, as equal favourites.

The TAB's Adam Hamilton has predicted Anthony Van Dyck is likely to start favourite as a result of the draw.

"Of the three most fancied runners, Anthony Van Dyck was the best served at the draw and he's likely to start favourite as a result," Hamilton said.

Last year Surprise Baby drew barrier 20 when he finished an unlucky fifth and he drew favourably in barrier seven to remain as a $9 chance.

The Danny O'Brien-trained Vow And Declare won the Cup from barrier 21 last year and has drawn barrier four for his title defence.

O'Brien's three other runners drew out with Miami Bound in barrier 13, Russian Camelot in barrier 16 and King Of Leogrance gate 18.

Omen punters would have noted that Jamie Kah, who rides Prince Of Arran, drew barrier one, which was the same alley as the only successful woman jockey Michelle Payne won from when she scored aboard Prince Of Penzance in 2015.

Joseph O'Brien's Melbourne Cup starters Master Of Reality and Twilight Payment drew alongside each other in barriers 11 and 12 respectively.

Star jockey James McDonald was thrilled with Finche's barrier draw in six.

"From that draw he should be able to get into a good rhythm. I should be able to put him in a good spot and there should be no excuses," McDonald said.

The Chris Waller-trained Finche will be contesting his third Melbourne Cup having finished fourth in 2018 and seventh last year.

Finche is a $15 chance while stablemate and Caulfield Cup winner Verry Elleegant is at $13 after coming up with barrier 15.