Yucatan Ire confirms Melbourne Cup favouritism at Werribee

Yucatan Ire confirms Melbourne Cup favouritism at Werribee

Yucatan Ire proved why he is the Melbourne Cup favourite at Werribee on Tuesday, with an excellent gallop at Werribee ahead of next week's race.

The five-year-old who thrashed his rivals in the Herbert Power Handicap a fortnight ago, when he was still called Yucatan, worked over 1700 metres on the course proper leading The Cliffsofmoher in a solid workout.

Yucatan Ire impressed at Werribee on Tuesday.

Yucatan Ire impressed at Werribee on Tuesday.Credit:AAP

Nick Williams - from Team Williams, which owns the horse - was impressed with both horses ahead of the Cup with the pair now being their best Cup hopes after LaTrobe, Homesman and The Taj Mahal were not part of second acceptances.

Team Williams also has Midterm, which sits at 44th in the Cup's order of entry.


Yucatan Ire missed the Caulfield Cup after being slightly sore following the Herbert Power win but is now in good order and fresh for the big race.

However Williams knows better than anyone that plenty can change between now and the race.


"The horses are in good order. How they will run, God only knows. You have just got to hope if TJ Comerford and his team can get them there in good order they should be able to run well," Williams said.

The Cliffsofmoher has bounced back well from a solid third in the Caulfield Cup having made good progress while in Australia with a fourth in the Caulfield Stakes next to his name.

The renaming of both horses has caused controversy, particularly with Yucatan Ire now being asked to race in the Melbourne Cup under a different name to the one he carried into the Herbert Power handicap because of a South Australian maiden that raced under the same name in June.

Williams echoed the thoughts of several commentators inside and outside the industry when he said racing authorities should not have made the decision that is likely to confuse punters.

Prince of Arran, which finished third behind Yucatan, also worked well ahead of the Lexus Stakes with the six-year-old needing a win to make the Melbourne Cup.

His trainer Charlie Fellowes arrived in Melbourne last night for the race and has high hopes he can make the field.

Peter Ryan joined The Age in 2017 having covered AFL as a senior reporter with AFL Media.