Melbourne Cup the ultimate aim for Marmelo with French raid also on the cards

Hughie Morrison described the Lexus Melbourne Cup as "definitely the end game" for his globetrotting stayer Marmelo this year as he mapped out the rest of the year following his Group 2 win in France.

2018 Melbourne Cup trophy, picture VRC

Marmelo, who was sixth in the Cox Plate, finished ninth behind Rekindling in the Flemington feature last year having led the big field three furlongs out in the two-mile Group 1 handicap.

Unlike some other European runners, Marmelo's enthusiasm has not been dimmed by the gruelling trip and he followed up a Listed win at York with a Group 2 success at Longchamp on Saturday.

That success was only confirmed after a stewards' inquiry, something that seems to follow Morrison's runners abroad as stablemate Nearly Caught was demoted in Germany in May.

Morrison said: "Marmelo will never win easily these days – when he gets in front he thinks he has done enough. It would have been tough to lose another race abroad.

"He's a laidback character – last year in Australia you wouldn't have known he wasn't a gelding as he walked around so many mares."

Morrison is keen to go back to France, where Marmelo has not finished outside the first three in eight starts, and is aiming for the Group 2 Prix Kergorlay at Deauville, which he won with Nearly Caught two years ago and Marmelo last season.

The trainer said: "I think he has won around £225,000 in the last two years with the French prize-money but I would love to try him over a mile and a half in a big race, preferably when it is soft ground, to see if he could compete as he has a track record over 1m6f."