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Morrison: surreal experience having favourite for Melbourne Cup

Marmelo: new Melbourne Cup favourite
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Hughie Morrison said it felt "rather surreal" to have the new favourite for the Emirates Melbourne Cup after watching Marmelo advance his claims when dead-heating for sixth place in the BMW Caulfield Cup.

Marmelo was elevated to the top of the market across the board and is a top-priced 6-1 with Betfred after the colt, a dual Group winner at 1m7f this year, stayed on from the rear to finish two and three quarter lengths behind Boom Time in the 1m4f contest.

Morrison said: "The race was run how we expected it to be run. We were never going to get a prominent position so we had to accept coming from behind.

"It was firm ground, which is not an ideal surface to run on so close to a big race, but he's a tough horse and if we can get him there in as good form, we have a chance of being in the money if we're not drawn out in the car park.

"I've spoken to Hugh Bowman and he was very positive. Once he had missed the break we didn't really want to fire him up there because it could have blown his effort for the future. He came all the way round them, couldn't get amongst them and ran on."

He added: "It's rather surreal. I suppose I won't really feel the atmosphere until I get there, but if he trains well in the build-up it'll  be very exciting. Hopefully the run will fire him up for two and a half weeks time."

Morrison's travelling head lad Tom Pirie is in charge of Marmelo until the trainer arrives nearer the November 7 race. There is twice daily contact between Werribee and East Ilsley.

"We train him at 10pm at night [UK time] and we hear how he is at evening stables in the morning," Morrison said. "It works quite well. Whats App is brilliant for communicating and to see what's happening.

"I can see to a vet any day, I can watch him on video everyday. He's looked better and better ever since he's been there.

"The training has not really been any different. I just can't touch him or feel his legs and joints. Tom is doing a fantastic job."

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I suppose I won't really feel the atmosphere until I get there, but if he trains well in the build-up it'll be very exciting
E.W. Terms