Sunday, 19 August 2012
: The Luca Cumani-trained stayer Mount Athos is the new favourite for the Melbourne Cup following his victory in the G3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury in England on Saturday.
| Luca Cumani|
Photo by Racing and Sports
The Luca Cumani-trained Mount Athos had his Melbourne Cup quote cut from $26 to $17 by TAB Sportsbet after his clear cut success in the 2600m event.Mount Athos
was the target of heavy early support to win the Melbourne Cup with $71 offered when first markets opened last month. Early bets on the stayer included $1000 at $71 and $2000 at $35.
“Mount Athos is a deserving early favourite for the race after after confirming a trip to Australia with his win at Newbury," said TAB Sportsbet's Matt Jenkins.
Another international spring entry Jakkalberry
is also headed to Australia after an impressive victory in the American St Leger (2700m) at Arlington in Chicago on Saturday.
He has firmed from $35 to $26 for the Melbourne Cup and $51 into $26 for the Caulfield Cup.
The Cups markets are bound to undergo more changes following the running of the Group 2 Prix Kergorlay (3000m) at Deauville on Sunday night (AEST) with 2010 Melbourne Cup winner Americain facing spring possibles Vadamar, Shahwardi and Brigantin.
Mount Athos, ridden by Ryan Moore, justified his favouritism at Newbury when he strolled away to win by three and a quarter lengths from a classy linbe-up. Brown Panther was second with Modun third and St Leger masked Marvel unplaced.
Cumani was delayed in traffic and missed seeing the race live but was keen to talk up Mount Athos as a his best ever Melbourne Cup chance after his past placings in the race.
"I talked to Ryan Moore, who seemed very happy and he thought the horse picked up nicely. The plan is to go for the Melbourne Cup," Cumani reported.
"The plan is for him to go into quarantine for two weeks starting on September 12, then travel to Australia on September 27 or 28.
"He looks like the best I've taken down, but you need a better horse these days. Gone are the days when you take an Ebor Handicap type horse.
"He's as good a chance as I've ever had. After this I would think he will go up to 53.5 kilograms which is the same as one of our other hopes for the race Quest For Peace."
The Marco Botti-trained Jakkalberry added to his globetrotting exploits when he won the inaugural American St Leger on the Arlington turf in Chicago as a short priced favourite under Colm O'Donoghue.
The race was run over one mile and five and a half furlongs and was the first time the Australian-owned Jakkalberry had won over a trip in excess of a mile and a half.
Jakkalberry has competed with success in Group company in Great Britain, the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, and Italy. He finished third in the G1 Dubai Sheema Classic in March and has now won 10 of his 24 starts.
He now races for the Newcastle-based Australian Bloodstock Syndicate and is set to return to the UK to prepare for his spring trip to Australia.