European raiders on the hunt for more Melbourne Cup glory
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The Luca Cumani trained Mount Athos is reportedly continuing to impress in his work outs in Australia ahead of the 2012 Melbourne Cup.
This is why he is the favourite, with several bookmakers at least, to win “the race that stops the nation” on the first Tuesday in November.
The five-year-old is said to be doing everything right at the moment after he went twice over the seven furlong track at the Werribeee Horse centre last week along with stablemate and fellow European Raider, My Quest For Peace.
Cumani is said to be happy with the 54kg weight that Mount Athos was allocated for the race and it is very similar to that allocated to the first two home in the 2011 renewal, Dunaden and Red Cadeaux. However, it is fair to say that Mount Athos has shown better European form this season than either of those two rivals prior to last season’s renewal.
The son of Montjeu is unbeaten in three starts since joining Cumani from David Wachman yard in Ireland, winning the Group Three Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury last time out in August and two valuable handicaps before that so far in 2012.
Cumani has come close to winning the Melbourne Cup on a couple of occasions before, being the runner up in both 2007 and 2008 and he will be hoping that his wait for glory Down Under will end this year.
The Melbourne Cup has been won by French trained horses for the past two years, Americain in 2010 and Dunaden in 2011 and it is those two that will jointly shoulder top weight of 58kg this year as they bid to win for a second time.
Dunaden has ran well in five starts this season without actually winning but has shown enough form to suggest that he can put in a strong bid for a repeat success.
The same can be said for Americain, who, has also run well without winning in 2012. Both will next be seen in the Caulfield Cup this coming Saturday, while Mount Athos will go straight to Flemington on November 6.
Luca Cumani’s other entry, My Quest for Peace will carry half a kilo less than his stablemate, but does not look that far behind him on the form book. The four-year-old had two cracking wins in August, both at Goodwood.
Firstly he won the Group Three Glorious Stakes over 1.5 miles, then at the end of August he won the Listed March Stakes. In the betting, it is My Quest For Peace who looks the better value of the two at 26.00.
The major Australian hope to end the European dominance appears to be Green Moon, winner last week of the Group One Turnbull Stakes at Flemington Park and who will next be seen at Moonee Valley and going for the Cox Plate as his final warm up ahead of the Melbourne Cup.
He is a generally around a $17 chance to provide trainer Robert Hickmott with his first winner of the race and will carry a weight of 53.5kg.
Dermot Weld, already a two-time Melbourne Cup winning trainer he will go for a third success in the race with Galileo’s Choice, who has odds currently of 26.00 and has been very progressive this season.
The son of Galileo won the Group Three Ballyroan Stakes over 12 furlongs at Leopardstown in July and before that, impressed when winning the Listed Challenger Stakes, also at Leopardstown.
He has enjoyed a total of nine wins on the flat and goes to Flemington Park as one of the most consistent horses in the field. He is also one that will enjoy the left handed track and he rates as another Northern Hemisphere danger in this year’s spring carnival.
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