English stayer Marmelo is the market mover at Ladbrokes.com.au on race morning for the Group 1 $7.3m Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington today.

Hugh Bowman, above, will ride Marmelo in the 2018 Melbourne Cup at Flemington. Photo by Daniel Costello.

Hugh Bowman, above, will ride Marmelo in the 2018 Melbourne Cup at Flemington. Photo by Daniel Costello.

The Hughie Morrison trained Marmelo was sent out as the $7 equal favourite in last year’s Melbourne Cup but struggled home in ninth place behind Rekindling but his followers are willing to give the talented stayer another chance in Australia’s greatest race.

Marmelo has firmed noticeably in from $17 to be marked at $12 on race morning and Morrison has deliberately keep the six year old on the fresh side going into his second Melbourne Cup.

“We learnt that we want a fresh horse,” Morrison told The Australian.

“He is not a horse designed particularly for Australian surfaces. He runs very well on firm ground, but he is not the sort of horse you can keep running back-to-back, which a lot of horses do over here.

“We really planned the whole year around having a good break after the Kergorlay in early August and going straight to the (Melbourne Cup).”

“We learnt that we need a fresh horse and I think the horse learned something.

“Everywhere he has been this year, whether it is quarantine, aeroplane, here (at Werribee), he his just more chilled out by the whole thing. It is good to have a happy horse.”

Marmelo has had four runs since last year’s Melbourne Cup for two wins and two seconds and will be having his first start since runner up in the Group 2 €130,000 Darley Prix Kergorlay (3000m) at Deauville in France on August 19.

Marmelo was a winner three starts back in the Listed £50,000 Grand Cup Stakes (about 2800m) at York in England on June 16 and found the winner’s circle again in the Group 2 €130,000 Prix Maurice De Nieuil (2800m) at Longchamp in France on July 14.

Morrison is content with Mermelo’s barrier ten and is happy to have the services of Hugh Bowman who tested the stayer out in a gallop at Werribee eleven days ago and he gave the England based trainer a good report.

“It is better than 17 and it is better than 24 and it is better than one, two or three, so I think we have to be pretty happy with that,” Morrison said.

“You don’t get chopped off and you don’t have to go too far to get a position, so I think the general feeling is that we are pleased with that draw.”

The Aidan O’Brien trained Irish stayer Yucatan is an easing $6.50 Melbourne Cup favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au ahead of the well supported Magic Circle, $9 into $7.50.

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