-->

Last year’s runner up Marmelo is on target to run in a third consecutive Group 1 $8m Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 5.

Marmelo finished second to Cross Counter, above, in the 2018 Melbourne Cup at Flemington. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Marmelo finished second to Cross Counter, above, in the 2018 Melbourne Cup at Flemington. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Marmelo finished ninth behind Rekindling in the 2017 Melbourne Cup and was beaten a one length last year when runner up to the Charlie Appleby trained Cross Counter.

The Hughie Morrison trained English stayer had his final 2018 Melbourne Cup lead up run when second in the Group 2 €130,000 Darley Prix Kergorlay (3000m) at Deauville in France and the Northern Hemisphere six year old will follow the same program into this year’s Cup after winning the 2019 Prix Kergorlay last Saturday.

“We will repeat exactly the same preparations for the Melbourne Cup as last year,” Morrison told Jour de Galop.

“It’s fantastic what Marmelo is doing, I am very happy for its owners and Aziz Kheir who has acquired a share.”

“On a heavy track 3000 metres is his maximum distance but in Melbourne, if we could have a good track to soft, it will be perfect.”

“He’s broken two track records, so ground doesn’t matter. He’s a very good horse.”.

Marmelo is now the $17 equal favourite with Cross Counter for the 2019 Melbourne Cup at Ladbrokes.com.au ahead of Master of Reality at $19.

Cross Counter showed his wares as a world class stayer with his win in the 2018 Melbourne Cup and Appleby is set to return to Australia with the Northern Hemisphere four year old after he ran a game third to the odds on favourite Stradivarius in the Group 1 £500,000 Qatar Goodwood Cup Stakes (2 miles) at Goodwood in England on July 30.

Early 2019 Melbourne Cup betting at Ladbrokes.com.au: $17 Cross Counter, Marmelo, $19 Master Of Reality, $26 Avilius, Buckhurst, Dee Ex Bee, Falcon Eight, Ispolini, Latrobe, Spanish Mission, Torcedor, $31 A Prince Of Arran,  Django Freeman, Finche, Gold Mount, Kew Gardens, Rostropovich, Southern France, King Of Leogrance, Verry Elleegant, $41 or better the rest.

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.