Australian Thoroughbred

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Marmelo motors into Melbourne Cup favouritism

James Tzaferis

21 October, 2017

English raider Marmelo is the new favourite for next month's Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) after an eye-catching trial behind Boom Time in Saturday's Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m).

After stepping slowly from barrier 10 and settling worse than midfield, the Hughie Morrison-trained stayer reeled off a series of impressive sectionals to finish in a dead-heat for sixth place with Abbey Marie, less than three lengths adrift of the winner.

The lightly-race five-year-old was the fastest horse over the last 800m (45.85), 600m (34.82), 400m (23.27) and 200m (11.79) of the race, delighting jockey Hugh Bowman who appears likely to retain the ride in the Melbourne Cup.

Marmelo's form over longer staying trips in Europe this season is impressive and, having captured the G2 Prix Kergorlay (3000m) at Deauville in August, he boasts a similar form profile to that of 2014 Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist.

"It was an excellent performance and he's right on track for the Melbourne Cup," Bowman said.

Another resident of the Werribee International Horse Centre, Johannes Vermeer, also turned heads with his performance to finish third, quickening with the second-fastest last 600m (35.05) of the race.

Ladbrokes reacted immediately to the performances, tightening Marmelo's Melbourne Cup quote from $13 into $6.50 equal favourite with 2016 Cup hero Almandin and Johannes Vermeer ($11)
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