With doubts starting to arise whether 2010 Melbourne Cup winner Americain will even take their spot in the 2012 Caulfield Cup field this Saturday, below the team at Races.com.au take a look at the chances they have of winning the mile and a half classic assuming they do run.
The French-trained champ is a Group 1 winner down under having taken out our biggest race of the year winning the Melbourne Cup at just their second start on Aussie soil during the spring of 2010.
Also a Group 1 champ in the Hong Kong Vase that December the Alain de Royer Dupre-trained Dynaformer stallion returned down under last spring and enjoyed another stellar season taking out the Group 2 Moonee Valley Cup (2500m).
While they ultimately failed to successfully defend their Melbourne Cup title in 2011 Americain was far from disgraced when they worked their way from the back of the field to cross just a length and a half away fourth to another French-trained Melbourne Cup winner in Dunaden.
Americain recorded their fourth turf triumph down under next start in the Group 2 Zipping Classic (2400m) and also spent the autumn in Sydney under the care of David Hayes posting two Group 1 minor placings.
They haven’t run since their sixth in the Group 2 Prix Kergorlay (3000m) in France on August 19 but return to the track on Saturday for their Caulfield debut in the $2.5 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m).
Connections however are saying there is a cloud of doubt over whether Americain will in fact run in the race with the likely firm track conditions at Caulfield a potential problem for the veteran who could jar up if the surface is unsuitably hard.
“If it is not soft enough we might not run him, why take the risk?” Americain’s handler Stephanie Nigge said on Thursday.
Caulfield was a Good (3) for Wednesday’s Thousand Guineas meeting with track manager Jason Kerr planning to apply 8mm of water to the track to get it to a Dead (4) for Caulfield Cup Day.
While the Dead track would be ideal for Americain there is every chance that by the time the Cup jumps at 4:05pm it could be back up into the Good range.
That said Americain is currently in the Caulfield Cup field and paying $16 to win through bookmaker.com.au.
So what chance do they have of adding yet another prestigious spring cup to their trophy cabinet if they jump with the rest of the field?
#1 Americain – Horse Facts
- Jockey: Gerald Mosse
- Trainer: Alain de Royer Dupre
- Owners: Mr G T Ryan, Mrs V J Ryan, Mr K L Bamford, Mrs C O Bamford
- Age: 8YO
- Gender: Stallion
- Breeding: by Dynaformer (USA) from Arazi (USA) mare America (IRE)
- Career: 32-11-4-4
- Win: 34.38%
- Place: 59.38%
- Last 6: x326x6
- Prize Money: $5,813,677
- Track: 0-0-0-0
- Distance: 8-3-1-1
- Current 2012 Caulfield Cup Odds: $16
Pros for Backing Americain in the 2012 Caulfield Cup Odds:
- Gerald Mosse rides, the jockey having won the Melbourne Cup with them two years back (see Cons for this as well)
- Is a class horse and former Melbourne Cup winner
- Has won over $5.8 million in prize money which is no easy feat
- No fears over the distance with three wins and two minor placings (8-3-1-1) from eight attempts over the mile and a half
- Has one of the better winning strike rates in the field with 34.38%
Cons for Taking Americain in the Caulfield Cup 2012 Betting Markets:
- Mosse had a shocking ride on the horse when second in The BMW in Sydney during the autumn and is a controversial booking for the Caulfield Cup ride
- No original top-weight in history has won the Caulfield Cup and Americain was the original 58kg topweight along with Dunaden this year
- Their 58kg is also historically bad as only three horses in the past 20 years have carried 56kg or more to victory in the race
- Resume racing here but only have a fair first-up record (11-3-1-2)
- Drawn wide in barrier 19 (into 16 with emergencies out) so will have to do the work to get a clean run
- Sees Caulfield Racecourse for the first time which is a notoriously tricky tracker for debutants there
- Can they win the Caulfield Cup at eight?
Think Americain has what it takes to become the first original topweight to win the Caulfield Cup in history?