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The 2018 Melbourne Cup field remains intact with twenty-four horses to do battle over the gruelling 3200m trip at Flemington today.

Yucatan, above, is the favourite for the 2018 Melbourne Cup at Flemington. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Yucatan, above, is the favourite for the 2018 Melbourne Cup at Flemington. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

The magnificent Flemington course is rated a Good 4 on Cup morning with some showers and a possible thunderstorm expected during the morning and the rail is out 2m for the entire course.

The Saeed Bin Suroor trained Caulfield Cup winner Best Solution will carry the topweight of 57.5kg and will lead the field out for the Group 1 $7.3m Lexus Melbourne Cup.

Best Solution will jump from barrier six with Pat Cosgrave in the saddle again and is listed as a $12 chance with Ladbrokes.com.au while the $6.50 favourite Yucatan has the horror barrier of twenty-three with James McDonald holding the reins.

The Aidan O’Brien trained – Lloyd Williams owned Irish horse Yucatan created a huge impression with his stunning win in the Group 2 $400,000 Ladbrokes Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield on October 13 but his price has drifted out from $4.50 after drawing out in the members’ car park.

Six times Melbourne Cup winning owner Lloyd Williams is still very confident that McDonald will be able to find the right path from the twenty-three gate and still thinks Yucatan will be very hard to beat.

“He needs luck (from barrier 23). To win the Melbourne Cup you don’t want too much bad luck. But he’s going to be pretty hard to beat,” Williams told Racenet.

On the second line of betting at $7.50 is the Ian Williams trained English stayer Magic Circle who has also drawn poorly at gate seventeen with last year’s Melbourne Cup winning jockey Corey Brown in the saddle.

Unlike Yucatan and Best Solution, who have had winning runs in Melbourne in the lead up to the Melbourne Cup, Magic Circle will be having his first run since winning the Group 3 £70,000 Henry II Stakes (3264m) at Sandown Park in England on May 24.

Williams and O’Brien will also team up with The Cliffsofmoher who ran third behind Best Solution in the Group 1 $5m Stella Artois Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 20.

The Cliffsofmoher is marked as a $17 chance at Ladbrokes.com.au on race morning.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.