English trainer Hughie Morrison has made the long journey to Melbourne chasing the dream of many of his countrymen.
International victories in the Melbourne Cup have come from Ireland, Japan, France and Germany and through no lack of trying the English are yet to salute.
Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor has campaigned 15 Cup starters from his Newmarket base for three second placings while Ed Dunlop finished in the runner’s-up stall three times with Red Cadeaux.
Morrison is trying to reverse that trend with Marmelo and has been guided in his quest by Dunlop and fellow trainer Michael Bell.
He arrived in Melbourne on Monday and watched Marmelo do some light work at Werribee on Tuesday ahead of a faster piece on Thursday when race jockey Hugh Bowman will be aboard.
Bowman rode Marmelo when sixth in the Caulfield Cup behind Boom Time.
“He’s settled in well,” Morrison said.
“You never know when you go to the other end of the world.
“The way he ran at Caulfield the other day made one feel he’d settled in well but you never know how the second run is going to turn out.”
Morrison was unsure whether to run Marmelo in the Caulfield Cup following his victory in the Prix Kergorlay at Deauville in August.
The Prix Kergorlay has proven a good form reference for the Melbourne Cup 2017 with Americain (2010) and Protectionist (2014) winning the race before their Cup victories while Dunaden finished ninth at Deauville before winning the Cup in 2011.
All three horses had also run on Australian soil before the Melbourne Cup.
“I wasn’t bothered whether he ran before or not,” Morrison said.
“I think the owners all felt they wanted to run, so that’s the way we went.
“In our spring, in April, he won first time out having had six months off, two months turned out in a paddock so we feel we could have got him fit enough to win first time out.”
Marmelo is the $9 third favourite with TAB for the Cup behind Almandin ($7) and Humidor ($8).