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Luck about to turn for Luca, says expert

3 minute read

Timeform expert Gary Crispe has declared Mount Athos will today end Luca Cumani's long wait to win the Melbourne Cup.

Crispe, from Racing And Sports, said Mount Athos had a superior rating to last year, when he ran fifth.

"Although the picket-fence form line of last year is missing, he arrives with similar Timeform ratings from recent racing in the UK, which, when adjusted for the same handicap weight that he carried last year, gives him a slight edge,'' he said.

"In last year's Melbourne Cup, Mount Athos was ridden worse than midfield early but was knocked off stride twice at crucial stages which caused him to lose momentum when making vital headway approaching the home turn and again in the home straight.

"Despite these setbacks Mount Athos was closing fast on the line, finishing fifth behind Green Moon who he meets 3.5kg better.''

Crispe said it was significant Craig Williams would ride.

Robbed of a Melbourne Cup win atop Dunaden in 2011 when suspended in controversial circumstances, Williams will relish the opportunity to join an elite group of riders who have won the grand slam of features -- Golden Slipper Stakes, Cox Plate, Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup.

Cumani has gone close to winning the Cup previously with second placings from with Purple Moon (2007) and Bauer (2008), while Mount Athos was the unlucky runner last year.

Crispe has the Marco Botti-trained Dandino as the main danger on the back of his outstanding second in the Caulfield Cup where he ran to a Timeform master figure of 122.

"Botti has the reputation of improving older horses that are transferred under his care and that has certainly been the case with Dandino,'' he said.

"Since joining Botti's stable, Dandino has raced four times for a win and three seconds, and improving his Timeform rating to a new master level of 122.

"The Caulfield Cup has always been a good guide to the Melbourne Cup with 11 of the past 23 Cup winners using the race as part of their Cup lead-up race program, the most recent Viewed in 2008, and Dandino fits that criteria.''

Crispe also rates Melbourne Cup favourite Fiorente highly.

"He has had a faultless preparation and seems to be peaking at the right time, but he will need to be in at least the same form as he was in 2012, when he rated 124, to be a winning hope,'' he said.


Article taken from Geelong Advertiser, published on Tuesday, 5th November 2013, Author, Ray Thomas, Page 46.

Racing and Sports