Trainer Hughie Morrison has revealed that his Melbourne Cup hope Marmelo will head straight to Australia without a prep run after the handler explained that the six year old will not feature in the Irish St Leger at the Curragh next month.
The horse out of Duke Of Marmalade has raced five times this season winning twice, his first on his seasonal debut at Newbury in the 1 mile 4f Group 3 John Porter Stakes seeing off Defoe who finished back in fourth that went on this season to be a superb horse landing the Coronation Cup and Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot.
His last win came on his last run, which does look to be his final run before the Melbourne Cup, over in France at Deauville in the 1 mile 7f Prix Kergorlay beating some strong French horses in tricky conditions.
Hughie Morrison has given this horse a good preparation season to head back to the Melbourne Cup after the six year old finished a heartbreaking second in last year's renewal when just being pipped on the line by Godolphin's Cross Counter.
(Credit At The Races) His trainer feels he has a strong chance and said: “I think the plan is to give him a couple of weeks off – then go out to Australia at the same time he did last year, and then go straight to the Melbourne Cup.
“It seemed to work well last year. That doesn’t necessarily mean it will again, but the horse is in good form.
“We left him in the Irish St Leger as an option, but I don’t think we will be going there unless there is a huge change of heart. If the race was in August then we might have gone there.”
Marmelo has been known throughout his career on going better on soft to heavy ground and if the rain was to fall over in Melbourne ahead of the race it would certainly play to his strengths.
Morrison added: “The rain might have helped a bit last year in Melbourne. But it dried out like a sieve – because they had two inches of rain, then it was gone.
“He has broken track records over a mile and six on quicker ground, so you can’t say he needs soft ground over those sort of trips.
“He is probably not an out-and-out Group One horse, but he does deserve to win one at that level over two miles.”