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Sunday 22 October 2017

Murtagh hoping for Melbourne memory

Any talk of the Melbourne Cup will always bring back very fond memories for me and Johnny Murtagh will be hoping that after Tuesday every time someone even mentions Australia that he'll have nothing but good memories.

From the moment Johnny landed in Melbourne on Thursday I have no doubt that he will thoroughly enjoy the experience as it really is something else down there and maybe it won't even sink into him what it is like to be a trainer of two Melbourne Cup hopes until he is involved in the parade on Monday.

To think that he is only a rookie to the training ranks and yet has gone down there with two horses to run in the biggest race of them all is fantastic. Many trainers in Australia would give anything to just have one runner in the race in their entire career.

The Ebor winner Mutual Regard is obviously the pick of the pair and Johnny has gone and got himself one of the best jockeys in Damien Oliver who has won the race three times and knows his way around Flemington which is always a big plus.

It's going to be tough, of that there is no doubt, but you just never know. He is there with a chance and is not that big a price anymore so some people think he will do it and hopefully they are right.

We saw Aidan bring Adelaide down there to win the Cox Plate last weekend and the last Irish runner is due to be Slade Power but that situation looks to have gotten a bit awkward.

Slade Power has proven difficult in the stalls in the past and that was the case again when he went into them for a trial at Flemington last week and a request to have him loaded last by Eddie Lynam looks to have fallen on deaf ears which is a huge shame.

I suppose the Aussie's are not known for their flexibility in these matters especially when it is to benefit a European horse but lets just hope they can find a solution.

It is a fantastic festival down there and Tuesday is just a great day.

Of all the days in my career winning the Melbourne Cup is certainly one I will never forget and hopefully Johnny Murtagh will feel the same.

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