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Provided he’s not jet-lagged, jockey Ryan Moore has a bright chance of landing a second big race in the space of four days when he partners the 5-2 favourite Vauban in Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup in Australia.

Moore, 40, won the $4m Breeders Cup Turf on Auguste Rodin at Santa Anita in California on Saturday and the next day hopped on a plane to Australia to ride in the country’s most famous race.

At Santa Anita, Moore partnered dual Derby winner Auguste Rodin to victory over the top American turf challenger, Up To The Mark. The expected challenge from the second favourite, Mostahdaf, who got upset in the preliminaries, never materialised.

“Considering how the race went against him in the early stages, it was a really big performance. I’m just delighted he has vindicated how good he is. He has beaten some proper horses here,” a delighted Moore said after the race.

Trainer Aidan O’Brien — winning this race for the seventh time — was also full of praise for the winner, who is named after the French sculptor.

“He’s a super horse and during the week — the way he was working on the dirt — I was wondering if we had done the right thing. Should we rather have had him in the Breeders Cup Classic?” asked O’Brien.

On the subject of his stable jockey, O’Brien has no doubt he’s got the best in the world. “He says he can’t be getting better, but he’s 40 and I’ve told him you peak at 45.

“Ryan doesn’t waste any energy in being anything other than what he is. He’s familiar with all the top tracks and all the top races,” added the Irish trainer. The owner of Vauban — the pick of most pundits for Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup — admits he had “a mighty punt” in paying £150,000 to supplement his Cheltenham festival winner in the race.

Trainer Willie Mullins has expressed his confidence in the horse in his interviews with the Aussie media, and bookmakers face heavy losses if the favourite wins.

Mullins has a second string to his bow in Absurde, whom this writer was lucky enough to see winnig the Ebor Handicap at York in August. With Zac Purton booked for the ride, he is a 16-1 chance in the antepost market and makes a lot of appeal as a place bet. The race is off at 6am (SA time).

The Vaal hosts a nine-race programme on Tuesday and jockey Muzi Yeni will be looking forward to teaming up with the talented three-year-old Guy Gibson for the third time.

Roy Magner trains this R400,000 son of Lancaster Bomber who perhaps needed the outing when fourth behind Purple Pitcher (a winner again on Saturday) in the BSA Cup in October.

The one worry for Yeni is whether Mike de Kock’s runner, Dave The King, will bounce back to form. Third in last season’s Champions Cup, the four-year-old has turned in two tame efforts on the highveld this term.

Bred and co-owned by Gary Player, Dave The King will have to turn in an improved performance in this 1,400m contest if he’s going to be one of De Kock’s runners in the Betway Summer Cup.

In the early market, Dave The King is the 14-10 favourite with Guy Gibson quoted at 22-10. The latter makes the most appeal with just 52.5kg on his back and a favourable draw.


1st Race: (3) Secret Chord (2) Ethanator (11) Thing Called Love (4) Knockemstiff

2nd Race: (3) Winter Path (2) Someday Maybe (10) Out The Mist (4) Glawari

3rd Race: (3) Al Bayreg (1) Exhale (5) District Twelve (8) Karoo Gold

4th Race: (6) Viva Brazil (1) Greenlight Magic (3) Kambulu (4) Romeo’s Magic

5th Race: (1) Kyomai (4) Fort Lauderdale (5) Bloomington (9) Willow Express

6th Race: (7) Eiffel Tower (6) Fully Loaded (2) Back To Basics (4) Whorly Whorly

7th Race: (10) Guy Gibson (4) Dave The King (7) Tsar Bomba (5) Smorgasbord

8th Race: (3) Second Breath (4) Troppo Veloce (6) Runway Bomb (7) Kingdom Of Gold

9th Race: (9) In The Ether (5) What A Tiger (11) Life Goes On (8) Dark Tide

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