After taking out the world’s richest handicap back in 2010, the former French-trained Americain this year is looking to emulate another past Melbourne Cup winner Makybe Diva in taking out the 2012 Australian Cup – The BMW Stakes double.
Mighty Desert King mare Makybe Diva, the only horse in history to win three successive Melbourne Cups, also won a plethora of other Aussie group 1 races throughout her stunning career.
In 2005 the Australian Racing Hall of Famer not only completed her Melbourne Cup triple, but she also won both the Australian Cup and The BMW Stakes during the autumn.
During the 2012 Melbourne and Sydney Autumn Racing Carnivals, another Melbourne Cup champion Americain also has these two lucrative features in his sights.
Two years ago the American-bred, Australian-owned and then French-trained stallion Americain travelled down under and stole the show winning the Geelong Cup in his Aussie debut before going on to beat home Maluckyday by an easy three lengths in the iconic Melbourne Cup on the first Tuesday of November.
He returned last spring to win the Moonee Valley Cup in October, and although he failed to go back-to-back in the Melbourne Cup, he did produce the run of the $6 million race coming from last to a fast-finishing fourth just one and a half lengths off the winner, fellow French raider Dunaden.
The now seven-year-old son of Dynaformer out of Arazi mare America was last seen winning the Group 2 Zipping Classic (2400m) at Sandown on November 12.
Staying on in Australia until his retirement with an eye on the lucrative autumn features, Americain is currently under the preparation of Flemington horseman David Hayes and has been paid up for a number of upcoming elite levels.
The gallant galloper is also dominating the early futures betting at Luxbet for a number of autumn showdowns, including those for the $1 million Group 1 Dubai Australian Cup (2000m) due to run at Flemington – home to the Melbourne Cup – on March 10.
Early 2012 Australian Cup odds at Luxbet have Americain as the clear pick of the early entries at $4.20, the next shortest-priced nominee being last year’s Melbourne Cup third placegetter, Lucas Cranach at $7.
He is also set to be one of the drawcard contenders during the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, one of 80 nominations entered for the lucrative $2.25 million Group 1 The BMW (2400m) running at Rosehill Gardens on Golden Slipper Day this Easter Saturday, April 7.
While futures betting on the 2012 The BMW Stakes is yet to be released by our preferred online bookie Luxbet, there is little doubt Americain will be one of, if not the, top fancy.
“Over a quarter of the nominations received are imported horses with many staying on from the spring to specifically target The BMW,” the Australian Turf Club’s Executive General Manager of Racing Matt Rudolph said of The BMW 2012 nominations taken this week.
“French stallion Americain will be a huge drawcard to the race.
“The seven-year-old will be looking to emulate Makybe Diva by completing the Melbourne Cup – BMW double.”
Stable representative and dedicated handler Stephanie Nigge, who has also remained in Oz to be with Americain and aid Payne with is preparation, said that while he was nominated for the Australian Cup, the horse would only race in the event if the track conditions suited.
“The plan is for him to run in the Australian Cup and then to go to Sydney for The BMW,” she said.
“But if the track is too firm at Flemington he will go straight to Sydney and run in the Ranvet Stakes.”
The $400,000 Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) runs at Rosehill on March 24.
Nigge also said that Americain had been kept on the ball over his break remaining in easy work to keep him fit and on track for another strong season.
“He has had a half-spell,” she said.
“He goes to the paddock every day but he also works every day.”
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