Aidan O'Brien has Bondi Beach bouncing for Melbourne Cup
AIDAN O'Brien believes Bondi Beach ticks all the boxes to win Australia's biggest race, the Emirates Melbourne Cup, run at Flemington in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
Bondi Beach was well beaten in this race 12 months ago at the end of a busy first campaign, but, since then, O'Brien has always had his eyes on a return visit.
A stronger horse this year and having a good draw in stall five, the omens suggest Bondi Beach has a big chance and will be ridden by the in-form Ryan Moore for the first time.
"The draw seems fine and we're looking forward to it," said O'Brien.
"He's a very strong traveller, he goes through his races very well.
"He probably doesn't want to be in front too long, but that's the way he's always been.
"He stays well and has a lot of class."
Lloyd Williams, one of Bondi Beach's co-owners, has been impressed with the way the trainer has handled the horse's preparation.
"The horse has matured a bit from last year," he said.
"Aidan seems to be pretty happy with him and the vibe with him is they are happy with him.
"Aidan O'Brien's attention to detail, to run a business as big as his, I've never seen anything like it before."
While Bondi Beach fared well with the draw, the two other Irish challengers, Heartbreak City and Wicklow Brave, have had no luck, being posted out widest of all in stalls 23 and 24 respectively.
Wicklow Brave's trainer Willie Mullins accepts the draw is out of his control but the horse is in peak condition for the severe test.
"The draw is obviously not ideal, but there's nothing we can do about that and we're just focussing on the positives," said County Carlow-based Mullins.
"David Casey (assistant) has been very pleased with the horse and he did a lovely bit of work on Saturday morning after I arrived.
"He's in great shape, Frankie (Dettori) obviously knows the place well and we'll see what we can do."