The Courier-Mail’s racing editor Nathan Exelby is sticking with the favourite Marmelo as his 2017 Melbourne Cup tip.
Exelby is keen for Marmelo to stretch out on the huge expanses of Flemington when he lines up in the Group 1 $6.25m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) today.
“Will relish getting to the bigger track and we know he will be strong at the end,” Exelby said in The Courier-Mail.
The Hughie Morrison trained English stayer gained plenty of supporters after a slashing sixth to Boom Time in the Group 1 $3.15m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 21.
Marmelo will jump from barrier sixteen in the twenty-three horse field with Hugh Bowman in the saddle.
Marmelo has continued to firm in the betting since the final field for the Melbourne Cup was released on Saturday and is currently the $7 favourite with Ladbrokes.com.au.
Exelby has stuck with the overseas runners and selected the Hugo Palmer trained English stayer Wall Of Fire for second and Aidan O’Brien’s Irish galloper Johannes Vermeer for third.
“Wall Of Fire ran well in the Herbert Power and form from that race has been good. Johannes Vermeer’s two runs in Australia have been excellent,” Exelby said.
“For multiple players, note that in the last six years, the runner-up has come from internationals having their first run in Australia (for that prep). This year the likes of Red Cardinal, Tiberian and Rekindling fit the mould.”
Johannes Vermeer has also had steady support for the Melbourne Cup and has firmed in to $10 while Wall Of Fire is currently marked at $12.