Dettori’s Absurde talent gives Mullins a second Melbourne Cup 2023 hope

Champion Irish trainer Willie Mullins could have a two-pronged attack on the Melbourne Cup after Frankie Dettori drew on all of his brilliance to raise Absurde from ‘looking beaten’ to winning the Ebor Handicap (2700m) at York in England.

Having claimed the ‘golden ticket’ for the Australia’s premier Group 1 staying event over 3200-metres, the syndicate ownership of the eight-year-old only need to approve of making the trip to Melbourne this springtime for Dettori’s continuing farewell tour to include a ride in the Melbourne Cup 2023.

Proving a pre-race handful when cantering to the starting gates which included Dettori having to dismount the gelding and jog alongside Absurde ($8) to the start, Dettori then delivered a similar ride to his victory aboard Trawlerman in the Ebor twelve months in earlier.

“Frankie has showed us what he can do,” Mullins said after Absurde went to the front at the top of the long York straight to be headed with 200-metres to go by race favourite Sweet William ($5.50), only to raise another effort to win.

“I thought Absurde was beaten a furlong out and he pulled that one out to the fire.”

On Absurde’s antics beforehand, Mullins said that the horse behaves similarly at home in Ireland.

“The minute it happened I thought ‘on no, that’s what he does’, but he has been very good lately and it is in him.”

Absurde could join Melbourne Cup favourite and stablemate Vauban on the flight to Australia should the owners accept the ballot-free place in the race.

Mullins added that Absurde is sound enough to pass Racing Victoria’s veterinary checks but “if they did a brain scan that might be a problem.”

Mullins also believes that Absurde’s racing style is suited to a typically run Melbourne Cup, and for the ownership it is a choice between a next run at Tipperary or the $8 million Flemington feature.

Frankie Dettori thought that his chances of winning a successive Ebor were blown having to travel wide throughout.

“He likes to run through horses and when we were widest of all with no cover I thought Willie won’t be too pleased with me,” Dettori said.

“We dealt the cards with we had so I took him to the (outside) rail and he was willing to run for me.”

He added that should the horse travel to Melbourne then he would be happy to remain aboard in the two-mile Cup.

Absurde’s win followed an unplaced effort in a 3300-metre listed hurdle race at Galway though his overall record now reads as four wins and eight placings in 15 starts.

The Ebor victory capped a fairy tale end to Dettori’s final day of riding at York having also won the race prior aboard Kinross in the Group 2 City of York Stakes (1400m).

“I wouldn’t write it, what can you say?”, he said.

“Absurde could go to Melbourne but I am definitely going.”

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