Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
With everyone in the Americain camp claiming the French-trained stayer is looking fitter and happier than they were 12 months ago heading into their first Melbourne Cup, the odds on the defending champ to become a dual Melbourne Cup winner in 2011 are steadily firming.
Most of the talk this week regarding the $6.2 million Melbourne Cup (3200m), set to run as Flemington Race 7 on Tuesday November 1, is about the gallopers outside the top 24 in the order of entry out to secure their spot in the field via races including Wednesday’s Bendigo Cup, and Saturday’s Mackinnon Stakes or Lexus Stakes.
With all of the logistics regarding Melbourne Cup ballots and weights being scrutinised and discussed, it hasn’t stopped the punters coming for one horse definitely assured of a start in the 2011 Melbourne Cup field – 58kg topweight Americain.
Americain is now paying $4 in the Melbourne Cup markets at Luxbet, the imposing Dyanformer seven-year-old having boosted their flawless Australian race record to three wins from as many starts last Saturday with an authoritative win over a good field in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup.
It is a similar story at other bookmakers around the country.
“Americian was $4.60 into $4.20 following the (second) declarations (on Monday) and weight of money has forced another price change to $4,” Matthew Jenkins from TAB Sportsbet said.
This generous price won’t last for long, however, with trainer Alain de Royer Dupre’s travelling foreman and assistant trainer Stephanie Nigge continuing to talk up Americain and where he is at fitness wise.
“Maybe he is better because after the (2010) Geelong Cup he needed more time to come down from his race,” Nigge said.
“This year his recovery his quicker.”
Americain is set for a gallop on Wednesday to bring them on for their attempt to become just the sixth horse in history to win multiple Melbourne Cups.
“He seems to have pulled up (from the MV Cup) very well and now he looks great,” Nigge said.
“He just had a stretch on the track this morning, he was not stiff and everything is fine.
“We will go back to work (tomorrow), that is when he will do his first canter.
Looking back over the rich 151-year history of the iconic Melbourne Cup reveals five repeat winners.
Horses to win multiple editions of what is now the world’s richest handicap are:
- Archer (1861 & 1862) – won the inaugural two editions of the Melbourne Cup
- Peter Pan (1932 & 1934) – Frank McGrath-trained hero won the feature two years apart with Hall Mark’s 1933 Melbourne Cup success sandwiched in between
- Rain Lover (1967 & 1968) – Champion thoroughbred handed Mick Robins their first Melbourne Cup success in 1967 just three months after he acquired his trainer’s license, Rain Lover won by eight lengths that year and returned 12 months later to become the first back-to-back winner since Archer over a century before them
- Think Big (1974 & 1975) – Cup King Bart Cummings’ fourth (and fifth) Melbourne Cup success, Think Big was ridden to both of their Cup triumphs by Hall of Famer Harry White who went on to win again for Cummings on Hyperno (1979) and then again on Arwon (1978) for George Hanlon
- Makybe Diva (2003, 2004 & 2005) – Considered by many as Australia’s greatest ever mare, Makybe Diva is the sole triple Melbourne Cup winner in history
And it isn’t just those directly involved with Americain that have him tipped as the 2011 Melbourne Cup winner with rival trainers and jockeys also giving credit where credit is due.
Ace hoop Michael Rodd, winner of the 2007 Melbourne Cup aboard Efficient, was admittedly impressed with Americain’s Moonee Valley Cup win and said he could tell jockey Gerald Mosse was holding the horse back.
“It was a very easy win on Saturday,” Rodd said.
“I’m sure he had a fair bit up his sleeve if Gerald wanted to extend.
“He looks like the benchmark.
“He’s been there and done that.”
Not even a weight increase from 54.5kg last year to their 58kg Melbourne Cup weight this year has Rodd tipping an upset.
“He goes up in weight, but I don’t know if that is going to affect him too much,” Rodd said.
“He’s a very big horse. I think he will carry the top weight without a problem.”
The official 2011 Emirates Melbourne Cup final field of acceptances and barrier draw will be released on Saturday afternoon at approximately 5pm (local time) live from Flemington following the Victoria Derby Day action.
Races.com.au will be first to publish the field, barriers, jockeys and weights so bookmark this site.
Don’t wait to place your Melbourne Cup bets, however, as right now Luxbet are offering the best futures prices on all of the 47 entries.
Racing fields and data are copyright 2011-2018 © Racing Australia Pty Ltd (RA) (and other parties working with it).
Racing materials, including fields, form and results, is subject to copyright which is owned by RA and other parties working with it. Full copyright notice.