But the four-year-old stayer could have to rely on attrition to get into race.
Vow And Declare beat all but Japanese visitor Mer De Glace in Saturday’s $5 million Caulfield Cup (2400m) in the second start of his spring preparation.
He has firmed from $15 to $13 in Melbourne Cup betting but before the Caulfield Cup he still sat 36th in the Melbourne Cup order of entry with a field limit of 24.
O’Brien says the prize money for second in the Caulfield Cup should lift Vow And Declare up further in the ballot over other horses weighted on 52kg and is hopeful he will get in.
“It would be a real shame if an Australian horse like him doesn’t get a run,” O’Brien said.
O’Brien said they were always wary of how Vow And Declare would get around Caulfield, saying the four-year-old got further back than needed and “crabbed around the corner”.
“But he was strong late and that’s what we know he can do,” O’Brien said.
“He’s going to be better getting to Flemington and he’s going to be better getting to 3200 metres.
“All in all, it would’ve been nice to win, but he’s run a really strong Melbourne Cup trial and he’s run second in a Caulfield Cup. So that’s a great effort.”
Mirage Dancer’s co-trainer Natalie Young is looking forward to the Melbourne Cup after the import finished third in the Caulfield Cup in his first Australian start for his new stable.
“It was a massive run,” Young said.
“He’s such a big strider and he needs a bit of room but he just got squashed for a bit of room.
“The Japanese horse was always going to be the one to beat.
“Never mind, the Melbourne Cup is on in a couple of weeks and he’s on track.”