English import Masked Marvel’s good barrier in the Melbourne Cup field has enhanced his chances in the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on Tuesday.
Masked Marvel was well beaten when thirteenth to Shamus Award in the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 26 but the step up to 3200m and barrier two will lift his chance in the twenty-four horse Melbourne Cup field.
“If I was being kind I’d say his Cox Plate run was inconclusive,” part owner Nick Williams said.
“We’ve done plenty of work with him and seem to have him back on track. If he finds his English form here, he might just outstay them.”
“He is certainly the best stayer in the race.”
Masked Marvel is one of six runners Williams and his father Lloyd Williams will have in Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup and Nick Williams is not ruling any of them out of contention.
Team Williams’ other five runners are last year’s winner Green Moon, Caulfield Cup winner Fawkner, Metropolitan winner Seville, high class import Sea Moon and Sydney Cup winner Mourayan.
Masked Marvel is a Group 1 winner in England, winning the English St Leger Stakes (2900m) at Doncaster in 2011 and has been placed twice from three starts for Williams since arriving in Australia.
At his first run for his new owners, Masked Marvel ran third to Moriarty in the Group 2 $200,000 Bacardi Hill Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on September 21 then finished second to Honorius in the Group 3 $125,000 APN Outdoor Craven Plate (2000m) at Randwick on October 5 before his Cox Plate run.
“He’s a horse we are still getting to know. He has a few tricks,” Williams said.
“His two runs in Sydney were terrific over 2000m.”
“Once you get him out to two miles I think that you will see a different horse.”
Michael Rodd, who won the 2007 Melbourne Cup on Efficient for Lloyd Williams, has retained the ride on the six year old after partnering him in the Cox Plate.
Masked Marvel is rated a $31 chance in the Melbourne Cup market order which has the Gai Waterhouse trained Fiorente the favourite at $7.50 ahead of the English galloper Mount Athos at $9.
Caulfield Cup runner-up Dandino is also high up in the market order at $12 with French mare Verema hovering around the $13 mark ahead of the Irish St Leger winner Voleuse De Coeurs at $17.