Melbourne Cup betting tips: Magic Circle looks just the trick in Flemington feature

Horsebetting.com experts give their 2018 Melbourne Cup betting tips for the race that stops the nation at Flemington in Australia on Tuesday, 6 November. The Dr Marwan Koukash owned Magic Circle has been in fine form this season, so rates the main bet to land the spoils in the valuable Group 1 handicap run over just short of 2m. Yucatan impressed when winning last time out and is feared most. Youngstar looks the pick of the home team, meanwhile, and thus appeals most each-way. For full details on these horses’ chances, read our in-depth 2018 Melbourne Cup betting tips preview on this prestigious multi-million dollar race.

Betvictor logo
Odds
7/1
Selection
Magic Circle
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Coral logo
Odds
11/2
Danger
Yucatan
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Ladbrokes logo
Odds
16/1
E/W
Youngstar
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Magic Circle taken to capture Melbourne Cup glory

Magic Circle has taken his form to a new level this season since joining Ian Williams and looks decent value to land the spoils in Australia’s race that stops a nation, the Group 1 Melbourne Cup handicap run over just short of 2m at Flemington on Tuesday (04:00). If doing so, he will become the first-ever British trained winner of this world famous race.

The six-year-old has had just two starts since joining Williams, winning both by six lengths. In the first of those, he made a total mockery of his handicap mark when romping home in the 16-runner Chester Cup back in May. After racing in midfield, the Dr Marwan Koukash owned son of Makfi made good headway two from home to take up the running just inside the last and forge clear.

It was a devastating display and one which suggested he would be capable of making an impact in pattern company. That view was confirmed when Magic Circle landed the Group 3 Henry II Stakes over 2m at Sandown !3 days later. He was again held-up and made stealthy headway on the bridle two from home to challenge at the furlong marker.

When then asked to go about his business by jockey Fran Berry, he showed a terrific turn of foot to shoot clear and easily beat Red Verdon. Magic Circle won with any amount in hand and the runner-up has since run well to finish second to the top class Crystal Ocean in the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The third home Weekender is also a useful sort, who has since run a blinder to finish runner-up in the Ebor Handicap at York and a solid third to Flag Of Honour in the Group 1 Irish St Leger, so that gives the form a rock solid look. Magic Circle has not been seen since, as connections made the decision after Sandown to save him for this.

That looks a shrewd move as his win in the Chester Cup came after an absence, so he clearly goes well fresh. Koukash and Williams have also secured the services of last year’s winning rider Corey Brown to do the steering, while Magic Circle’s blend of stamina and speed are the perfect attributes to this test. There is simply nothing not to like about his profile, hence Magic Circle features as the main selection in our 2018 Melbourne Cup betting tips.

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Yucatan a big player for O’Brien

Trainer Joseph O’Brien managed to win the race at the first attempt 12 months ago with Rekindling. His father Aidan has failed in 10 tries since 2006, but launches a strong three-pronged attack on this year’s renewal. The pick of the trio judged on his ultra-impressive success last time out is Yucatan, who heads the betting and looks sure to make a bold bid to follow-up.

That win came in the 15-runner Group 2 Hebert Power at Caulfield under James McDonald. Yucatan raced in the rear early before scything through the pack to take up the running three from home. The son of Galileo then powered five lengths clear before being heavily eased inside the last to beat Brimham Rocks by 1 1/4 lengths.

The four-year-old was value for much more than the winning margin and it was a very taking performance indeed. This form has also worked out extremely well as Brimham Rocks and the third home A Prince Of Arran fought out the finish of the Group 3 Lexus Stakes here on Saturday, with the latter coming out on top.

It was a career-best performance from Yucatan who had previously run well to finish a 2 1/2 lengths third to Ezirya in a Group 3 at Leopardstown. That form also looks strong as the winner went into the race on the back of a fine third to Sea Of Class in the Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks and was far from disgraced when sixth of 14 to Sistercharlie in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf from a poor draw.

So, with McDonald once again in the plate, Yucatan looks to have plenty going for him in this and a worthy favourite. Thus he is feared most in a typically fierce and wide-open renewal of the Melbourne Cup where a case can be made for many.

Youngstar appeals each-way

Of those at bigger odds, Youngstar makes plenty of each-way appeal. This four-year-old hails from the yard of Chris Waller, best known for his superb handling of wonder mare Winx. He has won two of his seven starts and shaped well in two prep runs for this.

In the first of those, Youngstar was beaten a length by Winx when runner-up in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes over 1m 2f at this venue. Although hugely flattered to get so close, it was still a big performance from the son of High Chaparral and one which shouldn’t be underestimated.

Youngstar has since finished an eye-catching seventh of 18 to Best Solution in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup over 1m 4f. After racing at the rear of midfield, Youngstar found himself with plenty to do when short of room two from home. His jockey then had to angle out to get a run and, when he did see daylight, the four-year-old stayed on strongly to be nearest at the finish and beaten 4 1/2 lengths.

Given how the race panned out it was a run which can be upgraded, as he was given far too much to do. The way in which Youngstar finished off so powerfully suggests that the extra four furlongs of this will be right up his street, while another plus is that he is lightly-raced and relatively unexposed for his age.

Youngstar looks to have the best chance of the home contingent; so, with many bookmakers offering enhanced place terms, he had to feature as the each-way punt in our 2018 Melbourne Cup betting tips.

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