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Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Melbourne on the horizon as Morrison targets more Deauville success with Marmelo

The Fairy Story Partners and Christophe Soumillon celebrate after Marmelo's win in the 2017 Darley Prix Kergorlay
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Marmelo returns to the scene of his success in the Group 2 Darley Prix Kergorlay (1.35) from 12 months ago with a slightly modified agenda to 2017.

The Melbourne Cup is again the ultimate aim but Hughie Morrison will be hoping to run straight off the plane this year, rather than take in the Caulfield Cup prior to Marmelo's participation in the Flemington showpiece. 

Winner of his last two races, Marmelo also appeared to run a career-best when chasing home Vazirabad in the Prix Vicomtesse-Vigier at Longchamp in May, though Morrison points out that officially he has not progressed.

"We're feeling our way to Melbourne," said Morrison. "On the form book he hasn't actually improved this year; the handicapper dropped him 1lb after York.

"He's a happy horse and we want to keep him happy and fresh until he goes to Melbourne, so I haven't over-galloped him."

Morrison has two chances of bringing up a hat-trick in the race as 2016 winner Nearly Caught also lines up, having been beaten a short head last time at Maisons-Laffitte, a track which has had to discard all of its right-handed races this year after suffering flood damage in the spring. 

"There are no other opportunities for Nearly Caught," continued Morrison. "We went to France the other day and were told it was a right-handed course and it was left-handed, which he hated.

"He ran a stormer and probably had a hard race as a result, but if we don't run him now, when do we?"

Nearly Caught bids to retain the Prix Kergalay after winning the race in 2016

Willie Mullins has plenty of good stayers on the Flat and Renneti comes here off the back of a fine effort when second to Pallasator at Royal Ascot.

"It looks a big ask for him but the trip and ground will suit and we're hoping he might pick up some of the good place money," said Mullins.

A deep Deauville card is rounded off by the Group 2 Darley Prix de Pomone (4.00), in which Highlere's Luminate steps up to an extended mile and a half having failed to fire in the Prix de Diane last time.

Luca Cumani sends God Given – a Group 3 winner at this track last August – while Anthony Oppenheimer's colours will be carried by both the John Gosden-trained Precious Ramotswe and Crimson Rosette from the Charlie Fellowes yard. 


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He's a happy horse and we want to keep him happy and fresh until he goes to Melbourne, so I haven't over-galloped him
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