Yucatan trainer offers Cup favourite a chance to take name back

The trainer of a South Australian maiden which has had only one start has offered connections of Melbourne Cup favourite Yucatan Ire his blessing to change the horse's name to his original European moniker.

Murray Bridge trainer Matthew Sayers, who prepares the three-year-old Domesday gelding, gave the nod to Racing Australia on Tuesday morning for Yucatan Ire to drop the suffix which was added to his name just last week.

Confusion: Yucatan Ire.

Confusion: Yucatan Ire.Credit:AAP

Yucatan Ire, which raced under the name Yucatan in his sizzling Herbert Power Stakes win earlier this month, is one of two imported Melbourne Cup entrants which will carry a different guise in the $7.3 million race because of name clashes with Australian horses.

Nick Williams, the son of leviathan owner Lloyd Williams, who owns the Irish-based Aidan O'Brien-trained Yucatan Ire, joined calls for Racing Australia to step in and sort the naming fiasco before the Melbourne Cup.

Racing Australia chief executive Barry O'Farrell told Fairfax Media on Monday the situation where two horses will have different names in the country's great race to what they did in an Australian lead-up run was "unacceptable".


Sayers' horse has won just $600 in prize money from finishing seventh in a Morphettville maiden back in June and said his horse won't be nominated into the Racing Australia system again until December.

"I'm quite happy for the horse to go around as Yucatan in the Cup," Sayers said.

"Our bloke is not going to be nominated until December at the earliest and I'd be happy for the [Lloyd Williams horse] to go around as Yucatan. If it goes back to Europe [after the Melbourne Cup] it does and if it stays something can be done about it then.

"There was quite a bit of thought that went into the naming of our horse."

Yucatan Ire worked strongly at Werribee on Tuesday morning in one of his final serious pieces of work before the Melbourne Cup.

He's currently a $4.50 favourite with BetEasy and could start as the shortest priced Melbourne Cup favourite since So You Think finished third behind Americain as a $3 chance in 2010.

Williams will also boast unlucky Caulfield Cup placegetter The Cliffsofmoher, another horse which has had his name changed from his original European moniker, Cliffs of Moher.

"The horses are in good order," Nick Williams said. "How they will run, God only knows. You have just got to hope if TJ Comerford and his team can get them there in good order they should be able to run well."

Adam Pengilly is a Sports reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.

Peter Ryan joined The Age in 2017 having covered AFL as a senior reporter with AFL Media.