Jockey Hugh Bowman riding Melbourne Cup mount Marmelo at the Werribee Quarantine Centre.
Jockey Hugh Bowman riding Melbourne Cup mount Marmelo at the Werribee Quarantine Centre.

Bowman bullish about Cup chance

HUGH Bowman believes English raider Marmelo has the perfect profile to win Tuesday's Melbourne Cup.

Having already scaled a major spring peak aboard Winx in the Cox Plate, Bowman is confident Marmelo can add further lustre to a glorious carnival with Cup victory.

Asked if the lightly-raced stayer has the right profile to win Australia's most famous race, Bowman said: "Yeah he does.

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"I loved his last 200m of the Caulfield Cup and I love his temperament.

"He's got an excellent action. Yeah, he does fit the profile. At least I hope he does."

A charging Caulfield Cup sixth, Marmelo is TAB third favourite at $9 behind Almandin ($7) and Humidor ($8).

Bowman said the versatile Prix de Kergorlay winner had thrived since his Caulfield outing.

"I was very pleased with him leading into the Caulfield Cup and I feel that he's come on," he said.

"Is he a better horse for having run there? I doubt it.

"But he certainly knows what he's here for and he's working with purpose.

"He's really feeling good.

"History would say he'd be better for having the experience. I'm pleased he had it (the run).

"In my opinion, it brought him on.

"A bit like the Cox Plate, the Cup just can't come quickly enough."

Bowman said he had "only just come back down to earth" in the heady aftermath of Winx's historic third successive Cox Plate.

"On the Saturday night, I didn't know if I was Arthur or Martha," he said.

"I had dinner with some close friends but I found that I was in five conversations and not taking part in any of them for most of the night."

He said he was unsure of trainer Chris Waller's plans for the mare, including a possible Emirates Stakes tilt next week, but admitted feeling the weight of history before the Cox Plate.

"I think my riding showed the expectation of what was going to happen was unavoidable for me and for everyone involved," he said.

"The closer I got to the day, the more I felt that.

"It's nice she's gone and achieved that. It means a lot to us all and, yeah, there certainly feels to be weight off the shoulders.

"Whether she runs again or not, it's nice that she's done it.

"It's been so long - only Kingston Town - has done it previously and there's so much hype around that particular race.

"I've never really experienced that before and I can't imagine I will anytime soon."


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