Melbourne Cup 2018: Templegate's top tips for the Flemington showpiece

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Flamboyant owner Marwan Koukash usually has a trick or two up his sleeve and I reckon he’ll get his hands on the Lexus Melbourne Cup with some Ian Williams wizardry.

My fancy was super impressive in the spring. After joining Williams from Ralph Beckett he stormed home by six lengths to win the Chester Cup.

If that wasn’t good enough he bolted up again – by the exact same winning distance – when upped to Group 3 class in the Henry II Stakes at Sandown in May.

That was the performance of a top stayer and I’m sure he’s the best of the European raiders. That makes him the one to be on.

Superbly-bred Yucatan has lost his way before making a stunning Australian debut when successful at Caulfield three weeks ago.

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He had the race wrapped up some way out with Saturday winner Prince Of Arran back in third. Whether he can repeat that performance upped to 2m is another matter.

Godolphin hope Cross Counter has plenty of class. His head second behind stablemate Old Persian in the Great Voltigeur at York – when St Leger hero was back in third – was a fine effort.

If he stays the trip he would have to have a good chance with the quick ground in his favour.

Avilius – runner-up behind Cracksman when trained by Andre Fabre in France last season – looks best of the Australian runners but I reckon the Cup is heading for Britain.

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