Melbourne Cup 2023 could beckon for two-mile Marvel

While the Melbourne Cup isn’t a specific goal for dour stayer True Marvel, trainer Matthew Smith hasn’t ruled out giving him a shot at Australia’s most famous race.

Placed in the Sydney and Brisbane Cups earlier this year, Smith says the eight-year-old is a genuine two-miler who could find himself in 2023 Melbourne Cup contention if he gets conditions to suit.

“If you get a spate of wet tracks in Melbourne in the last four weeks leading into the Cup, he can knock over one of those second tier leadups,” Smith said.

“It will be pretty hard to get him to a Melbourne Cup, but you don’t know what the field will be like and it can change so much.

“And if you got a wet track on the day, he’d probably run in the first half of the field.”

True Marvel will have his next start in Saturday’s Colin Stephen Quality (2400m) at Rosehill and although Sydney’s spring heatwave will ensure conditions are firm, Smith hopes it can be a campaign stepping-stone.

The horse has yet to fill a top-three spot in 11 first and second-up runs, but he has been showing all the right signs at home to suggest he has come back well.

“He probably won’t ‘turn up’ until he gets a soft track over a mile-and-a-half or further,” Smith said.

“But he’s coming along well. His work has been good, he’s come out of his last race fine so he’s on track.

“He’s just a genuine two-miler.”

True Marvel will stay in Sydney for the St Leger Stakes (2600m) at Randwick on October 14 before heading to Victoria for the Cup lead-ups.

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