Last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Americain finished a disastrous tenth in his final French run on the weekend before he is due to travel to Australia to defend his title.
The six-year-old entire only managed to beat three horses home when he took to the track for the Prix Kergolay at Deuville.
Despite the unexpected flop, trainer Alain de Royer Dupre believes the performance was not a true indication of how Americain would fare in this year’s Melbourne Cup.
“The ground was too fast for him and he nearly fell on his knees coming out of the stalls and had no action afterwards,” De Royer Dupre said.
”He couldn’t relax and they quickened brutally in the straight.
“You mustn’t write him off as he was unfavoured by the race from start to finish and he will now go into quarantine.”
The tenth-place finish in the Prix Kergolay was Americain’s worst since finishing 11th in the Group 1 Juddmonte Grand Prix De Paris in July, 2008.
The winner of the Group 2 Prix Kergolay was Jukebox Jury, who finished six lengths ahead of Americain.
Fellow Melbourne Cup-hopeful Manighar put in a spectacular run in the final stages of the race to finish fourth.
The five-year-old was just nabbed by Brigantin on the line for third, despite being caught three-wide for the entire race.