Defending Melbourne Cup winner Americain was the headline import to arrive in Australia over the weekend, the foreign raider rolling into Victoria ahead of the 2011 Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival majors.
The Alain De Royer Dupre-trained Americain, who will vie for back-to-back victories in the famous $6.2 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) on the first Tuesday of November, is now residing at the Werribee quarantine centre along with nine other international hopefuls.
Six-year-old Dynaformer stallion Americain, who is owned by Australian connections, was last seen running a disappointing 10th behind fellow Melbourne Cup 2011-chance Jukebox Jury in the Group 2 Prix Kergorlay (3016m) in France on August 21.
Melbourne Cup betting at Luxbet is currently lead by New Zealand’s Lion Tamer, the recent Underwood Stakes winner at a quote of $9.
2012 Melbourne Cup Odds
Futures all-in betting showing top 24 horses.
Americain is rated an $18 shot at becoming a multiple Melbourne Cup hero, their last-start conqueror Jukebox Jury further down the markets at $26.
“I’m very happy with the way the horse travelled,” Royer Dupre’s stable representative Stephanie Nigge said on the weekend.
“He’s a smart horse, he knows he’s been here before.”
Having made the lengthy trip without issue, Americain is to spend two weeks in quarantine before kicking off their spring campaign; the $200,000 Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) or $400,000 Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) both at Caulfield on October 8 possible first-up options.
“He lost form earlier this year because he was tired after going to Hon Kong after the Melbourne Cup but he’s had a good rest now and he’s ready to take on the Cup again,” Nigge said.
Fellow French-trained Dunaden also made the trip down under with Americain, the six-year-old having defeated Americain in a 3100 metres feature on Longchamp back in April but still sitting as a $41 outsider in the Melbourne Cup odds.
The shortest priced of the internationals in the Luxbet Melbourne Cup markets is Lucas Cranach at $15, another horse to touch down on Australian soil on Saturday.
From Germany, five-year-old Lucas Cranach is no longer prepared overseas, however, as they officially join the stables of Anthony Freedman once out of quarantine.
“He’s a nice horse,” Freedman said.
“We haven’t made up our minds yet if he’ll run in the Caulfield Cup or Geelong Cup.”
The $2.5 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) takes place on October 15 and Lucas Cranach is rated a $51 outsider, while the $200,000 Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m) is scheduled for October 19 and is the race Americain won on way to his Melbourne Cup victory last spring.
Another noteworthy arrival was fellow German import Illo, the Tertullan six-year-old to be trained by the legendary ‘Cups King’ Bart Cummings.
Illo sits as a $31 chance in the Melbourne Cup odds to provide Cummings with his unprecedented 13th ‘Loving Trophy’.
Meanwhile, four Luca Cumani-trained horses are also now in Victoria with Manighar, Drunken Sailor, ex-Chilean Sahara Sun and great old grey Bauer.
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