Aidan O'Brien is expected to lead the Irish hopes at the 2018 Melbourne Cup, as he looks to secure his first triumph at the Flemington racecourse.

Yucatan is pipped as the Ballydole-based trainer's best chance at success, and also has Cliffs of Moher and Rostropovich going to the post for the Group 1 Handicap race at 4am Irish time on Tuesday morning.

O'Brien is aiming to become the fourth Irish-trained Melbourne Cup winner, but speaking on RTÉ 2fm's Game On, horse racing expert Rupert Bell said that the favourite's tag comes with a warning.

"There is a degree of confidence but favourites don't have a great record in the race so I don't think it's a foregone conclusion. But from an Aidan O'Brien perspective, he wants to make it 1-1 with Joseph who beat his father's horse Johannes Vermeer with Rekindling 12 months ago."

Former jockey Jane Mangan, who was also speaking on the show, said that Cliffs of Moher has a strong chance with Ryan Moore on board.

"I wouldn't take Yucatan at the short price. I think a Group 1 horse in a handicap is always the horse to side with and I know generally, they have the highest weights.

"But to be fair to the Cliffs of Moher, if you go down through his form, he was a close third to Roaring Lion and Saffron Warrior in an Eclipse, he was second in an Epsom Derby.

"He's running against the likes of Crystal Ocean and I appreciate that two-mile trip is a big doubt for him but he's got the benefit of Ryan Moore.

"And as you know, Aidan O'Brien is just getting closer and closer with this race so this might be his year, we have a big chance."