Veteran 10-year-old Ihtsahymn entered the...
In total, 39 international hopefuls are seeking a spot in the Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on Tuesday.
Caulfield Cup winner Best Solution and fellow Godolphin stablemate Avilius headline as the only international exemptions, however, seven-year old Irish workhorse Magic Circle is beginning to create a buzz ahead of the $7.5 million race.
The Ian Williams trained gelding opened at $51 in the betting earlier in May following his win in Great Britain’s Chester Cup over the two mile, two furlong journey. Since then, he’s firmed all the way into $15 after arriving on Australian soil last month, and has fluctuated between $12 and $9 on the second line of betting with Ladbrokes ahead of Australia’s greatest race.
Jockey Corey Brown was penciled in to ride Magic Circle months ago, and with a chance to etch himself into the record books, he fancies himself a chance.
“After watching him win over in England, I think he’s definitely the right style of horse, again, he gave me a great feel this morning, still got a little bit of improvement, he had a little bit of a blow, but fingers crossed” Brown told Racing Post.
After winning the Cup on Shocking in 2009 and Rekindling last year, a win for Brown would place him alongside Jack Purtell, Glen Boss and Damien Oliver as the only jockey’s to ride three Melbourne Cup winners.
It would also make Brown the first back-to-back Melbourne Cup winner since Glen Boss accomplished the milestone in 2003/2004/2005 on Makaybe Diva.
“I was a lot happier with him this morning, he was a lot sharper, the other morning he was a bit flat footed getting around the turn” Brown said after a Thursday morning jumpout on Magic Circle.
“This morning he was a lot brighter, a lot more up underneath me in the bridle, but I’ve got a little bit of a query with his weight, I would’ve loved a lighter weight on his back, but he’s definitely the right horse to do it, he’s a tough tradesmen like stayer and I’m really happy to be riding him.”
With five career wins over 3200m and beyond, Magic Circle stands a great chance to become the first Irish raider to win the Cup since Fiorente in 2013.
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