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Absurde to join Vauban in Willie Mullins' Melbourne Cup squad after Ebor success

jon-vine
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Last updated: 29 Aug 2023
jon-vine
Jon Vine 29 Aug 2023
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  • Key quotes from Willie Mullins ahead of the 2023 Melbourne Cup
  • Absurde booked his place in the Melbourne Cup following his win in the Ebor
  • Absurde's stablemate, Vauban is the 5/1 favourite for the world's most lucrative handicap at Flemington in November
absurde
Frankie Dettori riding Absurde (L, pink) win The Sky Bet Ebor Handicap at York Racecourse. (Getty)

Absurde guaranteed himself a spot in the 2023 Melbourne Cup, following victory in the Ebor Handicap at York.

Frankie Dettori was slightly pessimistic about his chances at York, after being handed a tricky draw out in stall 24. Dettori kept his mount wide early on, but managed to grab the rail as the field straightened up for home and Absurde managed to repel a late challenge from favourite Sweet William to claim victory.

Irish trainer, Willie Mullins paid tribute to Dettori following the race, before stating that Absurde will likely take up his place in the Melbourne Cup, which was guaranteed by that Ebor triumph.

"I didn't think we could do it and certainly a furlong down I didn't think we would do it, and then Frankie just went into overdrive and pulled it out of the fire." Willie Mullins said.

"It was terrific to have Frankie riding the horse, his last ride at York, you could not dream of anything like that. It worked out perfectly."

"I will have a word with connections … but I'd say they would love a runner in the Melbourne Cup. If Frankie is free to ride the horse, we would be delighted to have him there."

"To go down double handed, we're looking forward to it. It's a race I would really love to win so we're going to give it our best shot."

vauban
Ryan Moore riding Vauban win The Copper Horse Handicap on day one during Royal Ascot 2023 at Ascot. (Getty)

Dettori helped Mullins get as close to Melbourne Cup glory as he's ever managed in 2015, finishing third aboard Max Dynamite. Frankie had declared himself available to ride current Melbourne Cup favourite Vauban, also trained by Mullins, but it seems that Willie may have another rider in mind for his stable star.

"I was very pleased with what Vauban did at Naas and I've been delighted with the way he came out of the race." Mullins continued. "He has been professional since switching back to the Flat and I don't see Flemington posing any problems for him."

"I haven't fully made up my mind but I would say he'll head straight to Melbourne without another run. I'm keen to get him into quarantine."

On the back of victories at Royal Ascot and Naas, Vauban was slashed into clear favouritism for the 2023 Melbourne Cup, with bet365 offering a best price of 5/1. Absurde can be backed at 20/1, with fellow raiders Continuous, Israr and Tower Of London also sitting prominently in the ante-post market.

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