Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
Having two genuine chances in a Melbourne Cup field is a rare thing, and having those two stayers finishing one-two in the Melbourne Cup quinella is an even more impossible dream, but it is the one harboured by owners Gerry Ryan and Kevin Bamford ahead of next Tuesday’s $6.2 million Flemington showcase.
Ryan and Bamford both have part shares in two of the top entries for the 2011 Melbourne Cup, lighting up Flemington next Tuesday on November first, enjoying ownership of the defending champ Americain and fellow European raider Jukebox Jury.
The Alain de Royer Dupre-trained French galloper Americain has come back to Australia in terrific order, showing off their claims to become the sixth multiple Melbourne Cup winner in the race’s rich history with a first-up win in the Moonee Valley Cup last weekend.
As such the Dynaformer seven-year-old has been heavily supported in the Melbourne Cup markets at Luxbet firming into the clear $4 favourite.
Not far behind is the Mark Johnston-trained Jukebox Jury, a horse Ryan and Bamford only purchased this year with the Melbourne Cup quinella in mind.
“Kevin and I wanted to go one step further and get the quinella,” Ryan said.
Sitting on the fourth line of Melbourne Cup betting at a quote of $12, trailing Geelong Cup winner Dunaden ($7) and German import Lucas Cranach ($8.50), Montjeu grey Jukebox Jury is yet to race in Australia but has come over on the back of some very impressive form.
Before heading down under Jukebox Jury won back-to-back races in Europe with a smart three length success in the Group 2 Prix Kergorlay over a testing 3016 metres before their final-stride success over fellow Melbourne Cup rival Red Cadeaux ($26 Luxbet) in the Group 1 Irish St Leger (2816m) on September 10.
Jukebox Jury’s form certainly looks to stack up considering Americain ran 10th beaten six lengths in the Prix Kergorlay this year when defending their title.
The Prix Kergorlay was the last race Americain run in and won in France back in 2010 before heading to Australia to snare the Geelong Cup – Melbourne Cup double.
Of the two champs Ryan and Bamford were very clear that it was Americain that they would sentimentally love to see salute in the ‘race that stops a nation’, saying a second win in the world’s richest handicap would authenticate Americain as a true turf legend.
“We will be barracking form Americain,” Bamford said.
“It takes a good horse to win the Melbourne Cup – it takes a champion to win it twice.”
Ryan confirmed that it was Americain he too wanted to see salute for them and the punters.
“We are hoping Americain can do it again,” he said.
“Last year we had a champion to beat in So You Think (ran third) but this year Americain is the one to beat but it is a very competitive field.”
It won’t just be the incredible Melbourne Cup prize money that connections will take home, the Melbourne Cup winner taking out $3.6 million with second place receiving $900,000, but the bookies will also be paying them a nice little win as well.
“We got on at 40/1 earlier in the year and the horse is down to about 4/1 now,” Ryan said, proving it does pay to get in on those Melbourne Cup futures markets.
Both horses are assured of a spot in the starting 24 for the Cup with Jukebox Jury first and Americain second on the ballot.
While a Melbourne Cup one-two for the same owners would be an extraordinary effort, if the two do salute in Flemington Race 7 next Tuesday it will be the first time since 1862 that two Melbourne Cup topweights were the first two across the line.
Americain rises from 54.kg last year to 58kg for the 2011 Melbourne Cup, Jukebox Jury next in the weights with 57kg.
In 1862 it was Archer and Mormon in the Melbourne Cup quinella, Archer the first multiple Melbourne Cup winner in history having also won the inaugural edition of the iconic handicap in 1861.
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