Corey Brown

Corey Brown after winning last year's Melbourne Cup (Image: Racing Photos)

Brown's relaxed build-up to Lexus Melbourne Cup defence

He's got the ride on a horse who heads some markets, but Corey Brown does not expect to feel any Lexus Melbourne Cup pressure for a few weeks yet.

The two-time winner of Australia's greatest race, who was in Melbourne for Thursday's release-of-nominations launch, is already locked away for the ride on Magic Circle, the $15 equal favourite. 

Brown is aware he has committed a lot further out than normal, but he has put faith in his manager Paul Webster, who found him the ride on last year's winner Rekindling.

"I'm obviously a lightweight jockey and often pick up the rides on the horses getting in late into the field with no weight on their back," Brown said.

"But this is horse definitely going to get a run, his credentials on paper and the video form that I've had a look at, he ticked all the boxes.

"My manager is one for one at the moment, so I left it in his capable hands and he decided take it a long time out."

Rekindling was Brown's second win in the Cup, after his first came in 2009 aboard Shocking, whom he did not know he was riding until the entire had won the Hotham Handicap three days before the Cup.

The Ian Williams-trained Magic Circle is owned by Dr Marwan Koukash, an unashamed fan of the Spring Carnival, and Brown is delighted to have been selected for his horse, whose past two starts have generated six-length wins in both the Chester Cup (3749m) and G3 Henry II Stakes (3264m).

"I'm extremely happy to be riding the horse after watching all his video form. It's pretty special," he said.

Magic Circle is part of a record set of 183 Lexus Melbourne Cup nominations, up 43 on last year. In all there are 50 Northern Hemisphere-trained entries, up 19 on 2017.

Magic Circle is not nominated for the Caulfield Cup (2400m), for which nominations were also unveiled on Thursday, but entries for that $5 million event on Saturday, October 20 are also up.

There are 164 horses in the running for this year's Caulfield Cup - 22 more than last year - with 27 of those entries trained north of the equator, which is five more than last year.