Magic Circle winning at Sandown
Magic Circle winning at Sandown

Magic Circle firms for Melbourne Cup

ENGLISH stayer Magic Circle's chances of coming to contest the Melbourne Cup have firmed with his victory in the Group 3 Henry 11 Stakes at Sandown over 3200m.

His flamboyant owner Marwan Koucash, who owned Melbourne Cup placegetter Mount Athos, tweeted after the win: Melbourne here we come. The dream is alive.

This followed his win two weeks ago in the Chester Cup. Koucash bought him before these two wins as a potential Melbourne Cup horse.

Magic Circle's trainer Ian Williams said the Melbourne Cup is the priority for Magic Circle but he said he's surprised by how well he is racing after his six length win.

English betting company BetVictor halved his odds from $40 to $20 for the Melbourne Cup. TAB fixed odds introduced him to their market at $41 after the win.

"It has taken me aback a little. I didn't think winning a Chester Cup would be beyond him, but I thought it would be tough. What he has achieved today has really announced him as a stayer on the big scene," Williams said.

"It was our plan to come here and we hoped to be placed and look at going to the Melbourne Cup with him, and that still remains our number one target. What we do between now and then has probably changed a little around today."
He said they would consider paying a late entry for the Gold Cup at Ascot next month.

"I'm not sure what we will do with him, but the options are open. He looks on performance a far better stayer than we could have imagined he would be."

Koukash, who bought Magic Circle before the Chester Cup, tweeted Melbourne remained a priority but the option to run in the Gold Cup at Ascot would be considered.