O’Brien’s spring raiders pass first test

Aidan O’Brien’s international contingent of six have begun their spring carnival build up with a workout on the course proper at Werribee.

The sextet galloped in pairs with Cox Plate hopefuls Armory and Magic Wand stretching their legs, while 2019 Epsom Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck partnered with Wichita.

The youngest members of the group, Melbourne Cup aspirants Tiger Moth and Santiago, were paired together for their hitouts.

O’Brien’s travelling foreman TJ Comerford said the team came through their work with flying colours.

“They were all very good. It’s their first piece of work since they’ve got here,” Comerford said.

“They all just went through the motions really. It was just a step out onto the grass and it all went well.”

Anthony Van Dyck is an early favourite for the Caulfield Cup and boasts tremendous international formlines having claimed the scalp of seven-time Group One winner Stradivarius to win the Prix Foy in France at his last start.

However, it is the lightly-raced Tiger Moth who is regarded as the leading chance to deliver the training wizard a first Melbourne Cup.

The Irish Derby runner-up has the right profile being a three-year-old by northern hemisphere time, as were 2017 Cup winner Rekindling and 2018 victor Cross Counter.

Lindsay Park’s Caulfield Cup hopes suffered a blow on Thursday when recent recruit Port Guillaume was ruled out of the race after he was found to be lame by Racing Victoria vets.

He will undergo further assessment before a determination is made on his participation in the rest of the spring.