Leading European trainer Luca Cumani has revealed the 2013 Melbourne Cup path for impressive stayer Mount Athos.
Mount Athos was one of the best backed runners in the lead-up to last year’s Melbourne Cup (3200m) and, after receiving no luck in the running, flashed home late to finish sixth.
The unlucky run added to the Melbourne Cup heartache of Cumani who has finished second in the race on two occasions with Purple Moon (2007) and Bauer (2008) both going extremely close to Melbourne Cup victory.
Although he hasn’t won the famous race, Cumani has been a great supporter of the Melbourne Cup and confirmed that he will back with Mount Athos for another tilt in November.
The Montjeu gelding won the Listed Silver Cup (2816m) and Group 3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes (2670m) in the lead-up to the 2012 Melbourne Cup and Cumani revealed that he will follow a similar path this year.
“It is very likely he will head to the Melbourne Cup again,” Cumani told Racing Victoria.
“His next race is likely to be the Glorious Stakes at Goodwood followed by the Geoffrey Freer, which he won last year.
“He went in to the Cup fresh last year and I think we will do a similar thing this time and keep him fresh after the Geoffrey Freer.”
Mount Athos started his campaign with an impressive victory in the Group 3 Ormonde Stakes (2696m) at Chester but failed to impress when finishing fifth in the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes (2414m) during the Royal Ascot meeting.
Cumani said he is not worried about the Hardwicke Stakes performance as the race turned into a farce with a rider less horse interfering in the race and believes Mount Athos had plenty of excuses.
“Ascot was a bit of a non-event for us as there was a faller in the race and the jockeys slowed it up as they were unsure what to do with the loose horse,” Cumani said.
“The race then turned in to a sprint and we were not ideally positioned for that scenario.”
Recent history is against Mount Athos in the Melbourne Cup as no horse has won the race after failing to win the year before since Empire Rose in 1988.