Cup favourite ticks all the boxes

31 October 2022 Written by Racing & Sports

Deauville Legend has ticked every box in his preparation towards the Melbourne Cup.

'Pressure is for tyres' but UK trainer James Ferguson admits he can feel it building as the Melbourne Cup draws close. 

Ferguson prepares the TAB's $3.60 Cup favourite Deauville Legend who is the only horse under $11 less than 48 hours out from 3200m contest at Flemington

"They say pressure is for tyres, but I am feeling it a little bit, but that's just nerves to do well," he said. 

"I've been happy with the horse since I came out here. He's got into a nice routine and he's matured mentally since he's been here. 

"We've ticked all the boxes so far... the nerves are starting to build a little bit. 

"We're very lucky. I'm just incredibly grateful for the support of Mr Bon Ho who has given us this horse so early in my career. 

"He's a huge international owner and to get a Melbourne Cup win for him would be a dream." 

While two of the favoured runners lost their positions in the Cup last week, Ferguson does not subscribe to the theory it has made Deauville Legend's task any easier. 

"It's the pinnacle Group 1 of the world and you want to see the best horses running," Ferguson said. 

"The Caulfield Cup is one of the top races leading into the Melbourne Cup and I feel for Harry (Herbert) and the Highclere team and Chris Waller (Durston). 

Deauville Legend still has 23 opponents, but in his favour is barrier nine and jockey Kerrin McEvoy. 

Already a winner of three Melbourne Cups, a fourth will see McEvoy join Bobbie Lewis and Harry White as the jockey with the most wins in the Cup. 

"Kerrin McEvoy is full of experience," Ferguson said. 

"We know him well, he knows the horse well. 

"He'd be one of the top jockeys in the world having won the race three times and has vast experience at Flemington itself. 

"Genuinely going into a Melbourne Cup, there is no-one better to have on your horse."