Reigning Melbourne Cup winner Americain is the headline international entry for this year’s 151st edition of the esteemed Flemington two-mile handicap, 25 Northern Hemisphere-trained stayers among the 163 horses making up the 2011 Melbourne Cup nominations.
Melbourne Cup nominations 2011 were taken a month later than has been customary, and while both total numbers and international entries were down on last year, the genuine interest in the world’s richest handicap has pleased Racing Victoria officials.
“With nominations closing a month later, the entries are more indicative of which internationals are likely to come or are genuinely interested in doing so if they perform in their homeland this month,”
Racing Victoria’s international scouting agent Leigh Jordon said today.
“By way of comparison, there were 25 internationals in contentions for the Melbourne Cup at the same time last year with first declarations taken in the first week of September.
“Last year there were eight internationals that started in the Cup following the morning scratching of Bauer and we expect six to eight internationals to contest this year’s 151st edition.”
The Americain-bred, Australian-owned and French-trained Amercain is the shortest-priced of the Melbourne Cup-bound internationals this year in the futures betting markets at Luxbet.
Americain became just the fourth overseas-trained horse in history to win the Melbourne Cup last spring, trainer Alain de Royer Dupre nominating the six-year-old to defend their title on Tuesday November 1, 2011.
Amercain, who is also heading towards the $2.5 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 15, will join an exclusive club of four former champion thoroughbreds if he salutes in the Melbourne Cup again this year; Archer, Rain Lover, Think Big and the mighty mare Makybe Diva being the only other horses to win successive Melbourne Cups.
Along with Amercain, the other French stayer nominated for the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) this year is Dunaden, prepared by de Royer Dupre’s former assistant Mikel Delzangles.
Prior to nominations being released, Luxbet had Americain installed at a quote of $21 in their Melbourne Cup 2011 odds.
The next best fancied overseas contender in the Melbourne Cup betting at Luxbet is $26 chance, Drunken Sailor, the recent Group 3 winner at Goodwood one of four entries for esteemed European trainer Luca Cumani.
Cumani has twice prepared the Melbourne Cup runner-up with Purple Moon (2007) and Bauer (2008), the second of which is also nominated for the Cup this year after their controversial scratching last year.
Another international entry well-liked in the early Melbourne Cup markets is Dangerous Midge, winner of the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup in the USA last November.
The ‘Loving Trophy’ has so far also eluded the revered Saeed bin Suroor, supremo trainer for global racing enterprise Godolphin.
With three Melbourne Cup third place finishes, Godolphin have two horses on the path to Cup glory this year entering multiple Group 1 performer Cavalryman and Danehill Dancer four-year-old Lost In The Moment.
One international horseman who has tasted the sweetness of a Melbourne Cup success is two time- winning trainer Dermot Weld.
Weld prepared Melbourne Cup winners Vintage Crop (1993) and Media Puzzle (2006), and is back again this year with two entries – Ballyroan Stakes winner Sense Of Purpose and the uncapped jumps performer Galileo’s Choice.
The list of horses heading towards the capacity 24-horse Melbourne Cup final field will be narrowed down at first declaration stage, Tuesday October 4.
View the full list of 2011 Melbourne Cup Nominations and the odds by signing up with Luxbet today.