Mourayan may be an outsider in 2013 Melbourne Cup betting markets but he has found plenty of support to win the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington tomorrow.
The veteran stayer was set to go straight into the Melbourne Cup without another lead-up run but the Macedon Lodge team of Lloyd Williams made the decision to accept for the $1 million event because of the small field.
Mourayan was available at odds of $35 earlier in the week but has now been backed into $17 and is one of the biggest market movers on the entire Victoria Derby Day program – even though he remains at Melbourne Cup odds of $81.
The Alhaarth stayer has had just two starts this preparation, finishing seventh in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) and eighth in the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m), and will be returning to the Mackinnon Stakes for the first time since he finished second behind Glass Harmonium in the 2011 edition of the race.
Steven Arnold, who will ride Sea Moon in the Melbourne Cup, will ride Mourayan in the Mackinnon Stakes tomorrow but the tough entire will be ridden by Brenton Avdulla in ‘the race that stops a nation’.
Avdulla made his Caulfield Cup debut on Waldpark, who finished a disappointing 17th and was ruled out of the Melbourne Cup, and is delighted to have the opportunity to ride a Lloyd Williams-owned stayer when he makes his debut in the 2013 Melbourne Cup.
“I was committed to Waldpark for the Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup but after he went amiss at Caulfield I was forced to look elsewhere,” Avdulla told News Limited.
“I’ve kept in contact with Lloyd, and he was the first one I messaged.
“He told me to sit and wait and see what happens and I only got the ride confirmed today.
“To get a Cup ride for Lloyd is a big thrill.”
Mourayan will be making his second appearance in the Melbourne Cup after he finished an impressive seventh behind stablemate Green Moon in last year’s race, despite being checked in the early stages of the race.
The seven-year-old is well down 2013 Melbourne Cup betting markets and is the least fancied of the six Lloyd Williams-owned stayers, which include Sea Moon ($13), Seville ($16), Fawkner ($26), Green Moon ($31) and Masked Marvel ($31).