In terms of class and career achievements Americain stands out head and shoulders above the rest in tomorrow’s Zipping Classic at Sandown.
He’s a Melbourne Cup champion, multiple Group 1 winner and has raced in Australia, Europe and the United States.
This imposing record has scared off plenty of rivals, in fact there are only four others having a crack at upstaging him in the 2400m contest.
One of them is Lamasery, an Australian bred and trained horse attempting to fly the flag for home grown stayers during a period where they are under heavy fire.
Benton Avdulla is the rider tasked with pulling off the upset and he’s backing himself and his horse to get the job done.
He says with the other four having being trained for the two miles of the Melbourne Cup Lamasery has an advantage.
“They have all got to come back in trip, he is the fresh horse on the scene,” he said.
“He has placed in a Group 1 2400m race (The Metropolitan) and he didn’t have a lot of luck, he got flattened in that run and was still strong to the line.”
“It is not going to be easy meeting Americain at levels weights with 59kg on our back. It is different than carrying handicap weights, in the Metropolitan he carried 52kg at the 2400m. Now he has to carry 59kg up against seasoned horses, stayers that have won a Melbourne Cup.”
He says the race could be determined by which, if any, horse takes up the early pace.
“It will be interesting to see how the race gets run, it is only a small field but I am sure Mourayan won’t let it be a sit and sprint because they all know they won’t probably sprint as quick as me,” he said.
He says Lamasery is only a new comer to races over this journey and a lack of speed in the race is only going to make things easier on him.
“Last start he seemed like he is settling enough, he is just starting to learn the staying caper and going to races beyond 2000m. If he does settle and they only go moderate, I’m sure that when he straightens up he has got the ability to quicken past most of them and run in the first couple.”
Running in the first couple probably isn’t much of an achievement in a five horse field but it will be the manner of his run that’s important.
Even if he doesn’t win the race if Lamasery shows he can be competitive against a horse like Americain the future of Australian stayers may not be so bleak after all.