The best indication of the strength of Aidan O'Brien's challenge for this year's Melbourne Cup is that the Irish trainer is preparing to fly 32 hours to be trackside to watch Bondi Beach and Kingfisher at Flemington next Tuesday.

O'Brien will be at Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky, over the weekend as his favourite horse Gleneagles takes on triple crown winner American Pharoah in the Breeders' Cup Classic on Sunday morning, but he has already made inquiries about getting to Australia. 

"It is a possibility. It would be a 32-hour travel but I won't be sure until Friday," O'Brien said. 

Progressive galloper: Aidan O'Brien's Bondi Beach from Ireland is in good shape for the Melbourne Cup.

Progressive galloper: Aidan O'Brien's Bondi Beach from Ireland is in good shape for the Melbourne Cup. Photo: Getty Images

"We have two nice horses down there and we are happy with both of them. We think they are two quality horses."

Ladbrokes have Bondi Beach and Kingfisher in the second tier of chances for the Cup - Bondi Beach is $17 and Kingfisher at $26 - which is a fair way from $4 favourite Fame Game.

The Australian influence on O'Brien, in particular from owner Lloyd Williams, has him keen for success and to be at Flemington.  

"It would be unbelievable [to win] but I don't like to think about it that way too much. We know how hard it is to win a Melbourne Cup. We are doing our best to prepare the horses and obviously guided by everybody [around the team]," he said.

Williams taking shares in a group of horses has helped lead to Bondi Beach and Kingfisher racing in the Melbourne Cup.

"I have been talking to him about being here," Williams said. "He has been working on getting Kingfisher here for a long time and Bondi Beach is wonderful chance."

O'Brien hasn't been back to Flemington since the infamous 2008 Melbourne Cup, which produced Bart Cummings' 12th and final winner Viewed.  The head of Ballydoyle was questioned by stewards about the tactics of his three runners, which finished near the tail.

"We learnt a little bit more about the race and the horses," O'Brien said about 2008.

Tom Magnier, Coolmore's head of racing in Australia, said the Melbourne Cup had always been at the centre of the conversation and the seven-year itch had got the better of the team.

"We said when we found the right horses we would come back and we were always looking forward to coming back. To be fair to Aidan and the lads, they say they have found the right horses," Magnier said.

O'Brien is measured and concise as he talks about his horses. He has been in constant contact with his team and Williams since they arrived.

"I have known Lloyd for a long time and obviously we admire Lloyd. We talk about horses and training and different types of horses. He is a very wise man," O'Brien said.

"His knowledge of preparing a horse, the things to do and not to do, and what you need down there is important." 

O'Brien returns to the Melbourne Cup with the confidence from the past two Cox Plates, winning with Adelaide last year and the brave third of Highland Reel to Winx last Saturday. He has had five Melbourne Cup runners and Mahler, which was a three-year-old like Bondi Beach, was his best result when third to Efficient in 2007.

Bondi Beach has had only five starts for two wins and three seconds. It is a career that only began at Leopardstown in May and his most recent outing was a controversial runner-up finish in the English St Leger. It was where Mahler had his last run before his Melbourne Cup. 

"Bondi Beach is a relatively inexperienced horse but we think he is a very progressive horse," the trainer said.

"He is a good traveller, a strong colt, a hardy horse and he has been very good in all of his starts. He is a colt who tries hard, he is very competitive."

Kingfisher is a year older but carries a significant form reference of being second in Trip To Paris' Ascot Gold Cup, when he was badly held up for much of the straight. He was also second to Australia in last year's Irish Derby.

Trip To Paris franked the form in Australia when he beat all but Mongolian Khan in the Caulfield Cup, which was another pointer to the chances of Kingfisher, which O'Brien believes will relish the Australian conditions.

"Kingfisher loves fast ground," O'Brien said. "We felt he would like the conditions in Melbourne. We think he is a very nice horse and we were delighted with him at Ascot."​

These horses were identified as possible Melbourne Cup types at the beginning of the year. It is a long progress to get to Melbourne and then the travel can its toll as did on Kingfisher.

"Kingfisher didn't have a straight-forward trip to Melbourne," O'Brien conceded.

"Bondi Beach travelled better than Kingfisher but everything has come right in the last few days.

"Kingfisher's blood and everything is good and the lads in Melbourne have done a great job with both horses. They are going good now."