Willie Mullins has booked Joao Moreira to partner Thomas Hobson in next month’s Melbourne Cup.
Ireland’s perennial champion trainer could have as many as three runners in the Flemington showpiece on November 7, with 2015 runner-up Max Dynamite and Wicklow Brave, who disappointed in last year’s renewal, also in contention.
Moreira, who is nicknamed ‘Magic Man’, was aboard the Tony Martin-trained Heartbreak City when he was beaten just a head by Almandin last November.
Patrick Mullins, assistant to his father, said: “It’s magic that someone with his experience wants to ride Thomas Hobson – it’s a big endorsement of his chances.
“He went very close to winning the race on Tony Martin’s horse and it’s great to have him on board.”
Mullins confirmed Wicklow Brave could first contest the Caulfield Cup on Saturday week.
The Melbourne Cup hopefuls are part of a four-strong team for Closutton in Australia, with Riven Light the first to run in Saturday’s Group One Ladbrokes Stakes at Caulfield.
“David Casey is down there with the horses and he’s happy with how Riven Light is working,” Mullins added.
“There’s some great prize-money on offer and it will be interesting to see how he measures up to Australian horses.”
Riven Light will be ridden by Glen Boss in the 10-furlong contest and faces 10 rivals, including Aidan O’Brien’s pair of Johannes Vermeer and The Taj Mahal.
In light of of Moreira’s booking, Bookmakers have slashed his price into 16/1
Betfair Spokesman Barry Orr commented: “Following the confirmation that the ever popular ‘Magic Man’ Moreira will ride Thomas Hobson punters began to weigh-in at 33/1, forcing us to cut it to 22/1. Continued support for the Willie Mullins runner has caused us to trimmed it again into 16/1.”