Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
After only yesterday being paid up for at second declaration stage for the 2011 Caulfield Cup, Australian co-owner Gerry Ryan has since confirmed French raider Americain will not contest the $2.5 million feature and will instead be saved to focus on going back-to-back in the famed Melbourne Cup.
There were 80 horses left in the running for the Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m), to run on October 15, after Racing Victoria took second acceptances on Tuesday afternoon.
The Alain De Royer Dupre-trained Americain was one of them, the defending Melbourne Cup winner the highest on the Caulfield Cup ballot in fourth behind those exempt from elimination – Underwood Stakes winner Lion Tamer, Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes champion Rekindled Interest and Naturalism Stakes hero December Draw.
Americain was also one of 59 horses making the list of 2011 Cox Plate second declarations, but again, will not contest the feature.
“The Caulfield Cup can be rough and we don’t want him belted up two weeks before the Melbourne Cup,” Ryan said.
“We talked about the Cox Plate, but he needs a long straight to wind up.”
With the decision to shelve Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate plans and focus solely on the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on Tuesday November 1, Americain looking to become the first successive winner since the mighty Makybe Diva (2003-05), Caulfield Cup 2011 weights will in turn have to be raised.
Americain was the 58kg topweight of the Caulfield Cup contenders, and with his withdrawal the Robert Hickmott-trained Alandi becomes the heaviest weighted hopeful on 55.5kg.
With a Caulfield Cup condition specifying a minimum topweight, the Caulfield Cup nominees will all be re-handicapped two kilos extra.
One racing identity that will be over the moon with the news of Americain’s withdrawal from the 2011 Caulfield Cup will be jockey Michael Rodd.
Rodd, currently serving a suspension, will now be able to ride Caulfield Cup favourite December Draw.
The Mark Kavanagh-trained import has been in red hot form since their Australian race debut back in May winning four of their five starts, including three at Flemington and their latest being in the Naturalism Stakes which earned the five-year-old a Caulfield Cup ballot exemption.
As such December Draw has shot into clear Caulfield Cup favouritism at a firming quote of $4 through Luxbet.
Originally allocated just 50kg in the Caulfield Cup weights, Racing Victoria chief handicapper Greg Carpenter awarded the horse a 2kg penalty for their Naturalism Stakes win.
This was still just under Rodd’s minimum riding weight of 53kg, but with the additional re-handicap December Draw will be perfectly weighted on 54kg for Rodd to continue his association with the budding star.
Americain was rated a $51 outsider in the Caulfield Cup odds at Luxbet.
They are far more fancied in the futures Melbourne Cup betting markets, currently at a quote of $19.
To view the full Caulfield and Melbourne Cup betting odds and options and lock in your selections at the best prices before markets tighten over the coming weeks, head to our preferred online bookmaker Luxbet.
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