Aidan O’Brien has 12 stayers entered for the $3.15 million BMW Caulfield Cup – the world’s richest 2,400 metre handicap, to be run at Caulfield on 15 October – and the Group 1 king has 11 entries for the $3.05 million William Hill Cox Plate – Australasia’s weight-for-age championship over 2,040 metres – run at Moonee Valley on 22 October.
Ireland’s Champion Flat trainer has 8 horses entered in both events: Bondi Beach, Bravery, Deauville, Highland Reel, Houses of Parliament, Idaho, Ascot Gold Cup winner of 2016, Order of St George, and Sir Isaac Newton.
Other horses from Ballydoyle entered in the BMW Caulfield Cup are Cook Islands, Shogun, Sword Fighter and The Major General. Irish Champion National Hunt trainer, Willie Mullins, has also entered Wicklow Brave for the Caulfield contest.
The William Hill Cox Plate, which O’Brien won for the first time with Adelaide in 2015, also sees Hit It A Bomb, Long Island Sound and The Gurkha as entries from Co. Tipperary.
Racing Victoria Executive General Manager – Racing, Greg Carpenter, said:
“The international profile of the Spring Racing Carnival continues to grow each year, which is reflected by both the quality of nominations received and the array of world class trainers represented.
“The most significant story amongst the international contingent is Irish training great Aidan O’Brien who has bolstered his search for a second Australian Group 1 victory by submitting a record 23 nominations across the Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate.
“His 2015 Cox Plate placegetter Highland Reel and highly-rated Group 1 winning Northern Hemisphere three year olds The Gurkha (Sussex Stakes/French Guineas) and Deauville (Belmont Derby Invitational Stakes) are among his standout nominations for the Cox Plate.”
First acceptances for the Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate will be taken on Tuesday, 6 September.