Flamboyant horse owner Dr Marwan Koukash says his wife will divorce him if the Brit’s hilarious Melbourne Cup declaration comes true.
The billionaire owner of the Cup’s second-favourite, Magic Circle, has made one of the craziest promises if his charge is able to claim the most prestigious prize in Australian horse racing.
Magic Circle is the second pick and the only other runner after favourite Yucatan ($4.50) that’s under double figures at $9.
Koukash is extremely confident Magic Circle has what it takes to win the great race and he’s willing to give up his dignity and marital status for the enormous prize at stake.
“When we win on Tuesday no one will stop me providing Flemington with the best celebration you have ever had, Koukash said after Saturday’s barrier draw.
Koukash has promised the most epic celebration if his horse wins the Melbourne Cup. Pic: Getty
“I will take my clothes off, I will keep my tie, my thong and my shoes.
“I know how to evade security – I am good to deliver. She (my wife) will divorce me but if I win the Melbourne Cup I will find a new wife.”
“I will have a thong on at least — my parts are not a pretty sight so I will keep them hidden away from the cameras,”
“My thong is built in such a way, it is especially built, to enhance the look of my private parts. To make them look bigger than what they really are.”
Yucatan is the Melbourne Cup favourite. Pic: Getty
Favourite Yucatan has eased slightly in Melbourne Cup markets after drawing barrier 23 in the 24-horse field.
The Aidan O’Brien-trained Yucatan, who is owned by the Williams family, is now at $4.50 after being as short as $4.20.
Nick Williams, son of six-time winning owner Lloyd Williams, selected the barrier but said he was unconcerned.
“I must say I’m of the view that barriers don’t matter in this race,” Williams said.
“You’ve got five furlongs (1000m) before you have to turn. They sort themselves out by the time they get there.
“It is what it is, there’s no point worrying about it.”
Magic Circle will start from barrier 17 for the Cup. Pic: Getty
For Magic Circle’s colourful owner, drawing the wider barrier 17 is not an issue.
“We are not the quickest away anyway and I would have been worried with a low draw because we would have been shuffled right to the back,” Koukash said.
“At least from where we are we have other options, so I’m quite happy. I’m not disappointed.”
The two are among 11 internationally trained horses in Tuesday’s Cup with O’Brien’s other two runners, The Cliffsofmoher and Rostropovich to jump from nine and 21 respectively.
Avilius, who represents trainer James Cummings, will jump from gate 11 after qualifying for the Cup via The Bart Cummngs, named for the 12-time Melbourne Cup winning grandfather of James.
“It’s a nice draw. I didn’t want to draw too wide. I didn’t want to be outside 15 so it was a good job from the boss (Vin Cox).”
Auvray, a $61 chance trained by Richard Freedman, has barrier one, something his trainer says could be to his advantage.
“He’ll probably think he’s on the outside because he hasn’t been in this direction for some time,” Freedman said.
“Seriously I think he will run better than people expect. I think a top-10 finish is realistic.”
Sydney Cup runner-up Zacada is at the other end of the barrier spectrum, with his part-owner Sir Patrick Hogan, selecting 24.
The retired proprietor of Cambridge Stud was ruing the draw.
“I’ve had seven winners as a breeder but none as an owner,” he said.
“I had Lashed run one year and she drew 24 as well. She was No.24 and she finished 24th.”
Ventura Storm represents Lindsay Park with senior trainer David Hayes happy with barrier seven and confident he can run better than his $26 suggests.
“I’m really happy with him and he’s got a great gate,” Hayes said.
“It’s an ideal draw, isn’t it? He’ll just roll forward and put him in a good spot and see what happens.”