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Melbourne Cup Preview: British and Irish trainers out for Aus success

Nick Murphy | 5 November 2018

Betting preview for the 2018 Melbourne Cup

British and Irish trainers plundered three prizes at the Breeders’ Cup over the weekend. Now they go again in the Melbourne Cup at Flemington on Tuesday morning at 4am.

Aidan O’Brien, Charlie Appleby, Ian Williams, John Gosden, Saeed bin Suroor and Iain Jardine all have darts in the race that stops a nation.

But can anyone follow up Rekindling and Joseph O’Brien from 12 months ago? You can catch the action live on At The Races from 4am. And we’ve looked at all of the contenders from either side of the Irish Sea ahead of the race.

Yucatan

The O’Brien colt failed to impress at elite level in the UK and Ireland. But one run in Australia has seen him land a Group 2 contest at the first time of asking.

Brimham Rocks and A Prince Of Arran – first and second that day – finish one-two in the Lexus Stakes at the weekend, which only enhances his claims. Main opposition is likely to come from fellow European-trained runners.

Yucatan is worked at Werribee at racecourse in Melbourne.

Cross Counter

Appleby’s three-year-old fits the same profile as last year’s winner after a lightly-raced campaign which included a record-breaking win in the Gordon Stakes.

The trainer has nine winners from 26 runners in Australia, while Kerrin McEvoy is an eye-catching jockey booking with two Melbourne Cup wins. Carrying 8-0, he has every chance.

Magic Circle

Owner Dr. Marwan Koukash has threatened to collect the Cup wearing only a g-string if Magic Circle does the business at Flemington.

The six-year-old has been exceptional for trainer Williams, who has saddled the horse to a pair of 6l successes at Chester and Sandown. He goes fresh here, which looks to be a good move judging on past runs.  Two-time race winner Corey Brown is booked to ride.

British billionaire and owner of Magic Circle, Marwan Koukash, holds a g-string during the Melbourne Cup parade press conference in Melbourne.

Muntahaa

Jim Crowley reckons Muntahaa has a big chance for John Gosden. And it’s easy to see why. The Dansili gelding has a draw which should enable him to get a nice outside run, while his Ebor Handicap win is strong form based on historical trends.

He’s unexposed over this trip but his strong build suggests he should still have scope for improvement.

Best Solution

Saeed bin Suroor’s well-travelled colt is bidding for a five-timer after four wins in three different countries, including the Caulfield Cup last time out.

He won that with top weight and will have to defy the odds again to become the first Melbourne Cup winner in over a decade to carry 56.5kgs or more to victory.

Best Solution

Jockey Pat Cosgrave reacts after he rode Best Solution to in race eight, the Caulfield Cup during the Stella Artois Caulfield Cup Day at Caulfield Racecourse in Melbourne.

Marmelo

Connections felt as though the turnaround between Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup proved too much for Marmelo 12 months ago. He’s been given an 80-day break this year as a result.

That could make the difference for the raider, who carries a couple of pounds less this time and boasts an ideal draw from stall 10. His form is good and he could challenge the places.

The Cliffsofmoher

Last year’s Epsom Derby runner-up steps up to 2m for the first time under the guidance of Ryan Moore. His prep-runs – including a third in the Caulfield Cup – suggest he may relish the new trip.

Joint-owner Lloyd Williams has won this contest in each of the last two years, although his runner carrying 8-13 doesn’t bode well based on historical trends.

Irish horse Cliffs of Moher trains at Racing Victoria’s International Horse Centre at Werribee Racecourse in Melbourne.

Rostropovich

The least likely of the O’Brien runners finished eighth in the Cox Plate last time out and doesn’t appear to be screaming out for this trip.

Flemington should be a better fit for the Frankel colt but more is required for him to be on the premises.

A Prince Of Arran

Won the Lexus Stakes to confirm his appearance here and that could be a worry in terms of stamina.

Needs to overcome previous defeats to a number of Tuesday’s rivals to challenge, which seems unlikely given the quick turnaround.

A Prince Of Arran

A Prince Of Arran ridden by Michael Walker (red and blue cap) wins race 4 the Lexus Stakes during the AAMI Victoria Derby Day, as part of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne.

Nakeeta

Fifth in this last year but that was off the back of much better form. Hasn’t been near the front at home or abroad this season and must improve dramatically from last month’s 13th in the Moonee Valley Cup.

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