Ray Flanagan with Melbourne Cup selections
thought for the day: It is now 25 years since Vintage Crop won- the first Irish trained and first European-trained winner of this famous race.
Melbourne Cup selections- Flemington 4.00 am-Tuesday
Marmelo and Cross Counter
Always an interesting race, the Melbourne Cup. Although there is a big field it may not be that strongly run looking through the running style of the runners. Nonetheless the pace of a race is never easy to predict.
In the end up, I have taken two picks against the field, one an out an out stayer in view of it being strongly run and the other a 12 furlong horse in case it is slowly run.
Marmelo has been a consistent stayer over the last couple of seasons and no one would begrudge Hughie Morrison (pictured) the big strike. He has some fine form in France including a close second to top stayer Vazirabad and good victories over solid yardsticks like Duretto and Weekender. He was a big eye-catcher in the 2017 Caulfield Cup before disappointing in this contest.
Morrison has elected to go straight for the big prize this time and it might prove a wise choice.
I would not put anyone off Magic Circle, however the possibility of a slowly run race draws me towards Cross Counter. The Great Voltigeur runner-up is well weighted similar to last years winner Rekindling and while his form in the book is not as good overall as that horse, one could not argue with his York effort where he finished ahead of Kew Gardens. His 12 furlong speed will be an asset if the contest is slowly run.
1 pt ew-Marmelo-14-1 SkyBet- 7 places
1 pt win-Cross Counter-8-1 Ladbrokes.