Irish raider Bondi Beach could be bound for Cup

MELBOURNE Cup hopeful Bondi Beach may have paid for his trip Down Under by winning the Group One English St Leger (2917m) at Doncaster.

The four-year-old, prepared by Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien, finished second behind Simple Verse but stewards reversed the result after a protest was lodged by the rider of Bondi Beach, Colm O'Donoghue.

The jockey said he believed the right decision was made, but Simple Verse's trainer, Ralph Beckett, was livid when the protest was upheld.

"I'm astonished, apart from anything else. There's no consistency in the rules," Beckett said.

"One thing is for certain - we will appeal this. That's all I've got to say on the matter."

Bondi Beach took his record to three wins and two seconds from five starts, and was quoted at $41 in Melbourne Cup markets after the victory.

O'Brien, who prepared Adelaide to win last year's Cox Plate, also sent Fields Of Athenry and Order Of St George around in the St Leger.

Fields of Athenry, a $26 chance in the Melbourne Cup, finished third, with Order Of St George coming in fourth.

O'Brien, who has also nominated Kingfisher for the Cup, is yet to confirm whether any of the quartet will make the trip to Melbourne.


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