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Magic Wand will be back to defend her Mackinnon Stakes title

Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien will arguably bring one of his strongest teams of horses to date to Melbourne for the spring carnival.

Paul Bloodworth confirmed that Aidan O’Brien’s stable has informed Racing Victoria that six horses would enter quarantine in Ireland in preparation for the trip to Melbourne.

The horses O’Brien is set to bring to Australia are Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup topweight Anthony Van Dyck, three-year-olds Tiger Moth and Santiago and G1 performers Armory, Wichita and Magic Wand.

“Aidan has advised that these horses are going into quarantine on Wednesday morning, so that’s the first step because you can’t come to Melbourne unless you do your two weeks’ quarantine in Ireland,” Bloodworth told RSN927.

“They have in the past put more horses into quarantine than have actually come into Melbourne so I’m not trying to put a dampener on things here but that’s just the slight thing we have to wait for to see who they bring.

“But I think it’s a very good indication because of the circumstances of this year, around getting here all the work they’ve done to get their staff here.”

The news saw the TAB tighten in each of the six horses in futures markets.

Anthony Van Dyck who was victorious over Stradivarius in the Prix Foy at Longchamp last Sunday night/early Monday morning, has tightened from $51 to $17 for the Caulfield Cup and $51 to $26 for the Melbourne Cup.

Armory, third in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown last Saturday night/early Sunday morning, has shortened from $26 to $13 for the Cox Plate and has been inserted as the $6 favourite for the Mackinnon Stakes.

Last year’s Mackinnon Stakes winner Magic Wand has firmed from $26 to $15 for the Cox Plate and $11 to $8 for the Mackinnon Stakes.

Wichita, winner of the Group 2 Park Stakes over 1406 metres at Doncaster last Saturday night, is now the favourite for the Cantala Stakes.

Santiago, winner of the Irish Derby over stablemate Tiger Moth at Curragh last June, has tightened from $51 to $15 for the Melbourne Cup.

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