Today in Europe Luca Cumani-trained stayer Mount Athos will race at Chester looking for a good first-up performance at home as they prepare for a return to Australia for the 2013 Melbourne Cup later in the year.
Owner of the Montjeu six-year-old, Dr Marwan Koukash, this week announced the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington Racecourse on the first Tuesday of November as one of the races he would most like to win.
His contingent for the ‘race that stops a nation’ looks to be a strong one this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival too after the eye-catching victory of the Richard Fahey-trained Address Unknown in the Chester Cup (3700m) who now has the Melbourne Cup on their hit list.
While Address Unknown is still to be added to the Melbourne Cup Futures Odds at bookmaker.com.au, another Koukash-owned galloper that is well inside the top chances is Mount Athos paying $16.
A Group 3 winner over 2670m at Newbury last year Mount Athos was bought down under last spring for the Melbourne Cup and finished a brave fifth beaten 3.5 lengths by the Aussie-trained Green Moon having worked from the back of the pack in an unlucky run.
They were last seen backing up from their big run in the two mile classic at Tokyo when 12th to Gentildonna in the Grade 1 Japan Cup (2413).
After a well-earned break Mount Athos returns this evening in the Group 3 Ormonde Stakes (2700m), running at 11:45pm (EST), their performance in which will be watched closely by Racing Victoria’s chief international talent recruit Leigh Jordon.
“Mount Athos resumes at Chester on Friday after running fifth in the Melbourne Cup last year and then unplaced in the Japan Cup in late November 2012,” Jordon said.
“He should go very close and the plan is to return to Melbourne because he was probably the run of the race last time when he just got too far back but was motoring home at the end of the race.”
Koukash could also be represented in Melbourne this spring in the other majors including the $2.6 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) and the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) in October.
“Marwan has a real passion for racing and now has set his sights on the Melbourne Cup, but also is looking at the Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate,” Jordon said.
“His main aim of winning the Chester Cup has been achieved this year and I know his other burning desire is to win the Melbourne Cup.”
To access all the juicy futures odds on the big ones this spring including the Melbourne Cup make sure you have an account open with bookmaker.com.au – the online bookie allowing you full access and the ability to deposit from your mobile!