Mount Athos Begins Road Back to Melbourne

Luca Cumani’s talented stayer Mount Athos resumes in the UK tonight in what is the beginning of his road back to the Melbourne Cup.

Melbourne Cup contender Mount Athos runs in the Ormonde Stakes at Chester on Friday night. Photo by: Race Horse Photos Australia.

The Melbourne Cup fifth placegetter is a $2.20 second favourite in the Group 3 Ormonde Stakes at Chester, which is scheduled to jump at 11:45pm (AEST).

Mount Athos hasn’t raced since November 25 when he finished 12th in the Japan Cup on his way home from Melbourne.

Tonight the Montjeu gelding will have to overcome Aidan O’Brien’s defending champion Memphis Tennessee who won the race by four lengths last year.

Owner Dr Marwan Koukash has already signalled his intentions to bring Mount Athos back to Melbourne but he may not be the high profile owner’s only runner.

Koukash told UK newspaper The Guardian there are two races he “wants to win more than anything else,” the Chester Cup and the Melbourne Cup.

On Wednesday he achieved the former when Address Unknown saluted in the Chester Cup and Koukash hinted he could be given the chance to achieve his dream double.

“There’s two races I want to win more than anything else and it’s this one and the Melbourne Cup,” Koukash said.

“We’ve got a few candidates for that and this could be one of them.”

Address Unknown is an out-and-out stayer, with the Chester Cup taking place over 3755m.

The Chester Cup winner is yet to appear in the early Melbourne Cup market but Mount Athos occupies the fourth line of betting at $15.

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