Magic Wand out of Cox Plate

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Star Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien's international travails have continued in Melbourne, with his top mare Magic Wand withdrawn from the Cox Plate on Friday morning.

Her scratching means that the Lloyd Williams-owned Buckhurst, who was controversially omitted from the field earlier in the week after final declarations were taken, will now get a start.

Jamie Kah will ride the Joseph O'Brien-trained Irish galloper for the Williams camp, giving the current leader in the Victorian metropolitan jockeys' premiership her first ride in the race.

Magic Wand has been withdrawn from the Cox Plate. Credit:Getty Images

Two Racing Victoria vets and an independent veterinarian examined the globetrotting five-year-old Magic Wand at Werribee after an initial inspection on Thursday when alarm bells about her soundness and that of stable companion Armory were raised.

After Friday's examination, the daughter of Galileo was "withdrawn by the stable from Saturday's Cox Plate due to lameness in the off fore leg," Racing Victoria announced.

There was better news about the northern hemisphere three-year-old Armory, however, as the panel of vets passed him fit to run so he will take his chance with Ben Melham in the saddle.

Magic Wand had been out of form in recent starts but had run well on her last visit to Australia last year when she was fourth in the Cox Plate and subsequently won the group 1 Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington.

O'Brien's stable has not had much luck at the Werribee quarantine centre this year.

Melbourne Cup hopeful Santiago will now miss the race, while the highly regarded Wichita, second in this year's English 2000 guineas, fractured a leg after working there earlier this month and is now out for the spring.

Earlier this month, O'Brien suffered misfortune in France when his intended runners in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe had to be scratched because of concerns over feed that might have been contaminated.

Still, his bad luck means that his son Joseph will get the chance to run Buckhurst.

The son of Australia was seventh in the Caulfield Cup over 2400-metres last Saturday behind Verry Elleegant, with connections believing that on the soft ground he failed to see out the race distance.

Owner Williams said that he would be much better suited over 2000m at the Valley in the Plate, which he now gets the chance to prove.

His form this season is closely tied in with another international Plate raider, Sir Dragonet, who was previously trained by Aidan O'Brien but who has been in the care of Ciaron Maher and David Eustace since being bought by a consortium of Australian owners.

Buckhurst beat Sir Dragonet over 2000m in a group 3 race at The Curragh in June this year, but finished behind the same horse when the pair were beaten by Magical in a group 1 event over the same course and distance in July.

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