Joseph O’Brien hopes the decision to abandon Melbourne Cup plans with progressive stayer Latrobe pays dividends when the Irish Derby winner lines up in Saturday’s Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes.
The son of Camelot was high up in most Cup markets in the early part of the spring before connections, including owner Lloyd Williams, announced that the Northern Hemisphere three-year-old would instead target the $1 million weight-for-age contest over 2000m.
O’Brien explained that, while his form lines are arguably stronger than those of his 2017 Cup champion Rekindling at the same time of his career, Latrobe was not as seasoned as his former stablemate.
“He doesn’t have nearly the same miles on the clock that Rekindling had coming down last season, he wasn’t a guaranteed stayer and he is just a less-mature colt so having spoken with Lloyd and Nick (Williams) we decided that the Mackinnon Stakes might be a better spot for him,” O’Brien said.
“The lads that have been here with him have been very happy with him through his preparation here in quarantine so we’re looking forward to the race now.”
Latrobe is a $4.60 second elect in bet365’s Mackinnon Stakes market, which is headed by Charlie Appleby’s last-start Caulfield Stakes runner-up Blair House ($2.25).
O’Brien said he was uncertain whether Latrobe would return to Ireland following the spring or, like Rekindling, remain in Australia under the care of Liam Howley at Macedon Lodge.