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Image: Darren Winningham

Ben Thompson will ride in his second Melbourne Cup on Tuesday where he will get the leg-up on the Matthew Smith trained True Marvel.

The lightly-weighted eight-year-old son of Masked Marvel, who will be receiving 8.5kg from the top weight Gold Trip, will be third up on Tuesday, coming into the race on the back of four unplaced runs since he resumed after close to a three month break in the Wyong Cup on September 1 … but Thompson feels there is more to that form of the Cup outsider than first meets the eye.

‘He ran really well last time at Moonee Valley (in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup over 2500m),” said Thompson. “His sectionals were really nice.

“Cleveland (the race winner) was six lengths closer in the run and True Mervel only got beaten by three-and-a-half lengths.

There were three horses that ran an identical split there which was the quickest of the race at 11.50, so, the way he closed that day he seems in very good nick. I did go and gallop him he looks great. He was walking around with a lot of purpose and hopefully he’ll be bringing his best on Tuesday.”

What about Thompson’s connection to the Matthew Smith stable … and how did the Melbourne Cup ride come about?

“I was first introduced to Matt when he brought horses up to Queensland,” explained Thompson. “First time I rode for him was up here (in Queensland) … that was during the Winter Carnival, 2022 … the I rode Buenos Noches for him in The Newmarket.

“Now I’ve been fortunate enough to get the call-up for True Marvel in the Cup.

“I have ridden for one of the major owners of True Marvel before … in fact I rode for him when I was just and apprentice starting off. He said the last time I rode for him was in November 2014 on a horse for Robbie Lang when I had only been riding for three or four months. It’s crazy the way things turn out.

“Fortunately, I’m light so I can take the ride at 50kg.

“It was a great surprise when the call came. I’m grateful, excited and I can’t wait till Tuesday.”

Apart from the light weight, which is a huge plus in a race over 3200m, True Marvel, who is currently quoted as a $101 chance with online betting sites, also has some race distance form behind his name having finished second in the Group 1 Sydney Cup, third in the Group 2 Brisbane Cup and second in the Listed Sandown Cup … all feature races over 3200m … and, if you want to throw in a result out of left field … True Marvel has also won a hurdle race over the Melbourne Cup distance carrying 69.5kg!

In that last start, The Moonee Valley Gold Cup, True Marvel carried 55kg over a 2500m trip.

Having won up to 3800m (under 67.5kg in the Jerico Cup Qualifier) and with True Marvel having shown he is a proven out-and-out stayer … the increase in distance from his last run to the Melbourne Cup and the drop in weight from 55kg to 50kg means he comes into the race well primed for a run at what might be silly odds of $101.

Melbourne Cup 🏆: View the Field and Odds for the Melbourne Cup

OFFER 💸💸: Get $20 Odds for Gold Trip or Ashrun to win the Melbourne Cup at swiftbet!

Melbourne Cup Odds:

Lexus Melbourne Cup
Flemington | 3200 | Good 4
November 7, 2023
3:00 PM
1. Gold Trip (2)
58.5kg
x4135
J: James Mcdonald
T: Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
2. Alenquer (9)
56.5kg
0x059
J: Damien Oliver
T: Michael Moroney
3. Without A Fight (16)
56.5kg
11x61
J: Mark Zahra
T: A & S Freedman
4. Breakup (18)
55kg
340x8
J: Kohei Matsuyama
T: Tatsuya Yoshioka
5. Vauban (3)
55kg
4211x
J: Ryan Moore
T: Willie Mullins
6. Soulcombe (4)
53.5kg
x1437
J: Joao Moreira
T: Chris Waller
7. Absurde (8)
53kg
1261x
J: Zac Purton
T: Willie Mullins
8. Right You Are (15)
53kg
x2505
J: John Allen
T: Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
9. Vow And Declare (19)
53kg
0x022
J: Billy Egan
T: Danny O'brien
10. Cleveland (23)
52kg
49621
J: Michael Dee
T: Kris Lees
SCRATCHED 06/11, 5:49 pm
11. Ashrun (11)
51.5kg
0x762
J: Kerrin Mcevoy
T: Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
12. Daqiansweet Junior (12)
51.5kg
x0074
J: Daniel Stackhouse
T: Phillip Stokes
13. Okita Soushi (20)
51.5kg
x5130
J: Dylan Gibbons
T: Joseph O'brien
14. Sheraz (22)
51.5kg
x0808
J: Beau Mertens
T: Chris Waller
15. Lastotchka (21)
51kg
2341x
J: Craig Williams
T: Mick Price & Michael Kent Jnr
16. Magical Lagoon (7)
51kg
6x906
J: Mark Du Plessis
T: Chris Waller
17. Military Mission (5)
51kg
20141
J: Rachel King
T: G Waterhouse & A Bott
18. Serpentine (1)
51kg
9x243
J: Jye Mcneil
T: G Waterhouse & A Bott
19. Virtuous Circle (6)
51kg
x0908
J: Craig Newitt
T: Liam Howley
20. More Felons (24)
50.5kg
x7285
J: Jamie Kah
T: Chris Waller
21. Future History (13)
50kg
21213
J: Hollie Doyle
T: Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
22. Interpretation (17)
50kg
32591
J: Teodore Nugent
T: Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
23. Kalapour (14)
50kg
l7331
J: Zac Lloyd
T: Kris Lees
24. True Marvel (10)
50kg
x8080
J: Ben Thompson
T: Matthew Smith
 
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