The way Heartbreak City’s owner Aidan Shiels was high-fiving the crowd lining the 2016 Melbourne Cup parade, you would think the Irishman turned New York publican had already won.
There has been plenty of beer and nights out since the mates who own Heartbreak City arrived in Melbourne.
The Melbourne Cup only became a target for Heartbreak City’s trainer Tony Martin and the Here For the Craic Partnership after Darren Dance’s Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock recently acquired a major share in the Irish horse.
It meant a crash course in barriers before Shiels drew barrier 23.
“Barriers where we are in New York are concrete barriers so we were saying ‘what the hell have concrete barriers to do with the Melbourne Cup’,” Shiels said.
“We figured out what they were in the end.”
Shiels is not worried about the Ebor Handicap winner jumping from such a wide barrier, believing it will make no difference over two miles, although he is a bit concerned by what jockey Frankie Dettori’s mount Wicklow Brave will be doing from the widest alley.
“We wanted 24 because we’ve got Frankie outside us now,” Shiels said.
“We’re going to have to dodge him.
“We rate Wicklow Brave and the great Willie Mullins, the man that’s proven it all his life. That’s the man to be feared tomorrow.”
Shiels and Martin are mindful of the sad story behind Heartbreak City after the death of friend and former owner George Swan last November, three months after the 50-year-old’s cancer diagnosis.
“George Swan, that’s what this horse is all about,” Shiels said.
“I think we wouldn’t be here without him.
“Four or five months ago we were up to our neck in mud in Tipperary trying to win a maiden hurdle which we duly won, beat Aidan O’Brien’s son Joseph, and we’re going to come along tomorrow and beat his father.”
O’Brien’s Bondi Beach is taking a second shot at the Melbourne Cup after finishing 12th last year.