Despite a less than impressive first up run a few weeks ago in France plans are continuing unchanged for Americain on his way to the 2011 Melbourne Cup.
Barring any unforeseen disaster the defending champion will be back on Australia’s shores by the end of the month with the Cup still a very real aspiration.
What’s not quite as certain though is the path he’ll take to get to the race with both Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate nominations still active.
It’s incredibly unlikely he’ll race in both of those events but there’s also no guarantee he’ll run in either of them.
Part owner Gerry Ryan says both events have major drawbacks which don’t suit the horse.
“He (trainer Alain Royer-Dupre) felt there was too much traffic in Caulfield and it is too short for him in the Cox Plate,” he said.
“The straights too short for him, he needs that distance to really wind up through the gears.”
Given that he’s due to arrive in Australia more than a month out from the race it seems almost compulsory that he have a lead up run but Ryan says that’s not the case.
“He might not run in both, he might just have a training program,” he said.
“They do it all the time in Europe, it worked last year, one hit out from Geelong (Geelong Cup) into the Melbourne Cup.
“We just have to wait and see what the trainer has to play, it really is up to him.”
Ryan says the connections have written off his effort first up in France this time in saying the race just didn’t fall his way.
“After his last race it was a little bit disappointing, he stumbled getting out of the gates, got blocked for a run and just couldn’t get into his stride,” he said.
Since then though his trackwork has been excellent and he’s reportedly in a similar shape to what he was before last year’s win.
Americain has now entered quarantine at Newmarket and will be among the first group of horses to arrive in Australia on September 24th.
Ryan says they wouldn’t be investing the time effort and money into the trip were he not a genuine winning chance.
“He’s (Royer-Dupre) a very conservative man and he wouldn’t be bringing him unless he’s going to be competitive,” he said.