O’Brien the Younger Chases Group 1 Mackinnon with Latrobe

If someone would tell us where to send the funds, we would be more than glad to buy Lloyd Williams a new hat.

Williams may not need our money if his strategy of holding Latrobe out of the Melbourne Cup plays out and Latrobe can win the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000 m) Saturday coming at Flemington.

The young 4YO of Ireland is trained by Joseph O’Brien. Yes, there is a connection and the name is not a coincidence. Joseph is the son of Aidan O’Brien.

Joseph was a jockey at one time and he won the Group 1 Irish Derby on Camelot in 2012 and Australia in 2014. He won The Breeder’s Cup Turf in the U.S. in 2011 on St. Nicholas Abbey.

Joseph won the most recent Irish Derby as the trainer with Latrobe and last year’s Melbourne Cup with Rekindling. He has won major races in Great Britain, too, so the bloke obviously knows one or two thing about Thoroughbreds.

Any who think those bona fides suggest that Latrobe is a good chance Saturday will have to look at the race being called the Seppelt Mackinnon Stakes on the bookie websites.

It looks to be a cracking race.

There are 10 horses and none is longer than $34. Latrobe will come from the third barrier on the second line of the betting at $5.50. The favourite is Blair House at $2.25, a six-year-old gelding that works for Godolphin and seems to be hitting good form.

Shillelagh is at $7 and Extra Brut $7.50 two days out from the race.

Of the decision to hold Latrobe out of the Melbourne Cup, O’Brien said, “He’s a big horse and he just didn’t have the miles that Rekindling had under his belt last year. They’re a different type of horse and speaking to Lloyd and Nick (Williams), we just felt the Mackinnon was a better option for him.”

Regardless, Goldolphin does seem to have the knack for winning big races with lightly run horses. Cross Counter was making just his eighth start when he took out Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup.

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