Former winner Americain is doing all the right things ahead of Tuesday’s 2012 Melbourne Cup (3200m) which will be his third start in the race that stops the nation.
The star French stayer, who is a $6.00 favourite in the bookmaker.com.au Melbourne Cup market, underwent a pleasing peace of trackwork at Werribee this morning with new rider Damien Oliver in the saddle.
Americain had a 2000-metre workout with stablemate Shahwardi and finished off strongly with his final 600 metres clocked at 35.7 seconds.
The Alain De Royer Dupre-trained entire will carry 58kg in the Melbourne Cup, the same weight he carried when fourth in both last year’s Melbourne Cup and the Caulfield Cup two weeks ago.
Oliver received the booking on Americain after connections sacked Gerald Mosse who rode him in both his previous cup starts.
“We felt we needed an Australian jockey,” Part-owner Gerry Ryan said.
While it is full steam ahead to the Melbourne Cup for Americain, connections of Herbert Power Stakes winner Shahwardi face a nervous wait to see if he will make the final 24-horse field.
Shahwardi currently sits in 29th position on the order of entry with 53kg and requires a number of horses to withdraw as he will not run this Saturday.
In past years he would have been almost assured of a start from that position but there are expected to be less drop outs than usual this year.
Another French horse whose connections face an anxious wait is Brigantin who sits two spots higher than Shahwardi at 27th in the order of entry.
The Andre Fabre-trained entire is another who will rely on the attrition rate with connections electing to skip Saturday’s Lexus Stakes.