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Anthony Van Dyck has taken slight Melbourne Cup favouritism following the barrier draw

Champion trainer Aidan O’Brien will saddle up two of the leading contenders in Tuesday’s $8m Melbourne Cup and after the barrier draw the stable can’t split the pair.

The O’Brien trained Anthony Van Dyck and Tiger Moth worked over 1500m this morning in lead-up to the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday and O’Brien’s travelling foreman, TJ Commerford could not split the pair.

“Anthony Van Dyck has probably for a better draw, Tiger Moth is drawn the one from the outside. It’s better that way around than Anthony Van Dyck being out there again. These are the draws you get but I still think that Tiger Moth still has his chance from out there. It’s not the end of the world.

“This morning they worked over 1500 metres on the sand. Hugh Bowman is coming in tomorrow to sit on Anthony Van Dyck to do the same again tomorrow.

The stable has two live chances in the race with Anthony Van Dyck the $7.50 favourite with Sportsbet and Tiger Moth on the second line of Melbourne Cup betting at $8.00.

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“It’s great. To have one runner is great, to have two in it is better again. It’s grand, it’s a great race. We’ve always run well in the race, our horses have competed well. It’d be great to win it but it’s not as simple as that.

“Hopefully we can have a good chance on Tuesday.”

TJ Commerford thinks both horses have come to Australia with good enough form to win the race.

“It’s hard to compare them, but we’ve always brought horses that we thought would do well here. Horses that would have well in English St Legers. Anthony Van Dyck is an English Derby winner and Tiger Moth has run second in an Irish Derby at only his third run. At the same time his last run was an impressive win in a Group 3 at Leopardstown.

“The ground seems all in their favour as well. They’re two good chances.

“I wouldn’t like to separate them. Anthony Van Dyck is a class horse but he has to give a lot of weight away to Tiger Moth. But then Tiger Moth is drawn 23 so he’ll have to be able to negotiate from out there – I’m sure Kerrin McEvoy will have a plan. We probably don’t know enough about the three-year-old, really, but I do know that he’s going well enough while here and he’s doing everything right and he’s enjoying himself – he’s fresh and he’s well and he’s fit.

“I just think they’re two good chances. I wouldn’t have one over the other even if you give me a free bet there I might struggle. Can I do a reverse forecast?”

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