Melbourne Cup runner Mount Athos surprises Williams

Craig Williams was surprised by how well Mount Athos was feeling when he partnered his 2013 Melbourne Cup mount in a workout at the Werribee International Horse Centre today.

Mount Athos going through his paces at Werribee.

Mount Athos going through his paces at Werribee. Photo by Race Horse Photos Australia.

Williams had his first feel of the English stayer and commented on how sharp the seven year old felt after only arriving in Australia six days ago ahead of his second attempt at the Group 1 $6.2m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 5.

“He was quite keen throughout the middle part of his work and he ran up really sharp times for a two miler,” Williams told Racing Network.
“You can see he has come off the plane bouncing and rearing to go.”

Sara Cumani, wife of highly acclaimed Newmarket trainer Luca Cumani, was at Werribee to watch Mount Athos go through his first piece of serious work since arriving from England.

Travelling attendant Charlie Henson reported to Sara Cumani that Mount Athos had travelled well and she could see that was right by the way the Montjeu gelding worked around with Williams.

“We’re very happy,” said Cumani.

“The horse has travelled well, eaten better than ever. Charlie said this is the best international trip he has done in terms of how the horse has reacted to the flight.

“His weight is good, he looks good and he worked well.”

Williams was quite impressed with Mount Athos’ run in last year’s Melbourne Cup when fifth to Green Moon and after looking at his recent runs thinks he has the experience to be competitive in the Cup again this year.

“I liked his run in the Melbourne Cup last year and I thought his first-up run this year at Chester when he made all the running that he had the versatility,” Williams said.
“If the race is run slow like it was last year it gives me the opportunity to ride him wherever he landed.”

Mount Athos has won one win from five starts since Flemington last November when he outclassed a field of six to lead all of the way to score by nine lengths in the  Group 3 £75,000 Boodles Diamond Ormonde Stakes (1 mile, 5 ½ furlongs) at Chester, England, on May 10.

At his latest run Mount Athos ran second to Harris Tweed in the Listed £35,000 March Stakes (1 mile 6 furlongs) at Goodwood on August 24.

Mount Athos is high up in the Melbourne Cup market order and is on the third line of betting at $10 behind the Gai Waterhouse trained Fiorente and Caulfield Cup runner-up Dandino at $9.

Puissance De Lune has drifted out to $11 after being the early Melbourne Cup favourite while David Hayes’ import Jet Away, Irish St Leger winner Voleuse De Coeurs and French stayer Verema share the next line of betting at $13.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.

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