Over the weekend Americain silenced their critics and put an end to the whispers suggesting they had not travelled back to Australia in winning form with a brilliant victory in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup, but despite Racing Victoria’s chief handicapper Greg Carpenter sticking to his word and not penalising the French galloper for their success, Americain still has one hell of a task ahead of they are to take out the 2011 Melbourne Cup and go back-to-back in the world’s richest handicap.
Carpenter is satisfied that Alain de Royer Dupre’s Dynaformer stallion Americain is already weighted heavily enough for the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on the first Tuesday of November, the defending champ allocated the 58kg Melbourne Cup top-weight.
If successful in their bid to become a dual Melbourne Cup winner Americain will become just the third horse in the past 40 years to carry 58kg or above to victory in the testing two-mile showdown, a fact Carpenter pointed out when confirming his decision to not impose the horse with a penalty.
“He takes his weight of 58kg into the Melbourne Cup and the only two horses to carry that weight and win the Melbourne Cup since 1970 are Think Big (58.5kg in 1975) and Makybe Diva (58kg in 2005),” Carpenter said.
Americain was one of 47 Melbourne Cup Second Acceptances when the latest stage of declarations were taken on Monday morning, as were the brave horses that finished two-three behind Americain in last Saturday’s Moonee Valley Gold Cup, Tullamore and Illo.
The Gai Waterhouse-trained Tullamore backed up from their gallant Caulfield Cup third seven days earlier to run two and a half lengths away second in the Moonee Valley Cup while Bart Cummings’ spruik German import Illo finished off the trifecta a further one a quarter lengths away third in their Australian race debut.
2012 Melbourne Cup Odds
Futures all-in betting showing top 24 horses.
For their Cox Plate Day win, which was their first run in Australia since last year’s upset Melbourne Cup victory over Maluckyday and So You Think, Americain carried 58kg to victory.
While they were weighted for success under the set weights plus penalties condition of the race, it could be a different story come Melbourne Cup Day.
On the weekend Tullamore carried 57kg and Illo 56.5kg, and should both make it to the Melbourne Cup in one piece, they will enjoy a nice weight decrease currently allocated 52kg and 53kg respectively, something else Carpenter noted when discussing Melbourne Cup weights and Americain.
“He (Americain) already meets the second horse five kilos worse and the third horse 3.5 kilos worse and he’s already the top weight,” Carpenter said.
While the weight is a query, as too is the Moonee Valley Gold Cup as a lead-up.
Back in 1990 Bart Cumming’s champion chestnut Kingston Rule claimed the Moonee Valley Cup – Melbourne Cup double, winning the later in a record time of 3:16.3 that still stands today.
Since then, however, the Mike Moroney-trained Brew is the only Melbourne Cup winner to have come via the Moonee Valley Cup when they placed second to Yippyio.
Brew, however, only carried 49kg to his Melbourne Cup success.
Still, history and his weight hasn’t stopped Americain from dominating the Melbourne Cup odds and futures betting at Luxbet.
Following their weekend win Americain has had their Melbourne Cup quote cut to $4.
They are followed in the markets by fellow French raider Dunaden ($7.5) who won the Geelong Cup in their maiden run down under last week, and imported German stayer Lucas Cranach ($8.50) who is now prepared by Anthony Freedman.
A little further down the Luxbet Melbourne Cup odds punters can find Illo ($14) and Tullamore ($18).
Stay tuned to Races.com.au throughout the week for all the Melbourne Cup 2011 field and betting updates ahead of the final acceptances out on Saturday afternoon.
In the meantime, get ready for the elite Cup Day betting action by opening your new account with Luxbet, where all first-time customers that quote the code BONUSBET when making initial deposits get a bonus bet valued up to $500!