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Ballydoyle Target Five At Spring Carnival
Aidan O'Brien is set to make his biggest assault yet on the Melbourne spring racing carnival with five horses from his Ballydoyle yard entering quarantine on Tuesday, reports Racing.com. The master Irish trainer won last year's Cox Plate with Adelaide, but has not had a Melbourne Cup runner since 2008 when he was questioned by stewards over controversial riding tactics employed on three of his horses in the race. O'Brien's Melbourne string is likely to feature Melbourne Cup hopefuls Order Of St George, Bondi Beach, and Kingfisher, as well as Highland Reel and Ol' Man River who have been entered in the Cox Plate. "The three possible Melbourne horses have gone into quarantine. Highland Reel and Ol' Man River are also in quarantine and may also travel," O'Brien told Racing Post on Tuesday. Speaking on Melbourne's Radio Sport National yesterday morning, Racing Victoria's international recruitment officer Leigh Jordan said he hadn't been expecting such a strong representation from Coolmore but that he was delighted to have one of the world's premier thoroughbred operations participating at the carnival. "Aidan has notified me that he is going to put five horses into quarantine at Ballydoyle," said Jordan. "The only thing I would temper that with is that they still have to get on the plane. Albeit by putting them into quarantine, he (O'Brien) misses the Arc weekend with any of those horses." He added: "I suppose I may have thought, maybe one or two may have come out but he's put the whole five in which is great. Good to have him back. He's one of the world's leading trainers. He won the Cox Plate last year and I know he hasn't been back since 2008, and obviously his experience last year was very good."