Hughie Morrison sets sights on Melbourne Cup bid with Marmelo

Wed 30 Aug 2017

Marmelo appears unlikely to run again before arriving in Australia for a tilt at the Melbourne Cup after trainer Hughie Morrison all but ruled out an appearance in the Comer Group International Irish St Leger.

The Curragh Classic on September 10 was under serious consideration for the four-year-old following his Group Two triumph in the Prix Kergorlay at Deauville earlier this month, but the Summerdown handler has had a change of heart after confirming Melbourne to be firmly on his agenda.

"He's in very good form. He's taken his last race as well as any race and has come back jumping out of his skin," said Morrison.

"Ideally we'd like to run him in a couple of weeks in the Irish St Leger, but one mustn't forget the Melbourne Cup is a handicap and if we ran too close to Order Of St George and Big Orange, that could be the end of our chances in Melbourne. 

"We might have to wait until we get to Australia before he runs next.

"The owners are very keen to go and hopefully we can still find some improvement from him. He's a big horse that can carry weight. If you're going to go, then this is probably the year to go."

Morrison is not ruling out giving his charge a prep run in Australia, but the Caulfield Cup is not currently on the agenda.

"You can go out there at the beginning of October or the middle of October. If you go out at the beginning you can run in one of the trials. Obviously there's the Caulfield Cup, but I wouldn't be that keen to go for it as it's only 18 days before the Melbourne Cup," the trainer told At The Races.

"It's difficult. There are lot of decisions to be made along the way.

"The Melbourne Cup is one of the great Flat races in the world. Over here you have the Derby, then there's the Arc and the Melbourne Cup is a pretty close third, in my book."

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