French galloper Americain announced to the world that he is the horse to beat in the 2011 Melbourne Cup (3200m) after an effortless Drake International Moonee Valley Cup (2500m)today.
And the message was aided by Racing Victoria handicapper Greg Carpenter who let Americain escape from a Melbourne Cup penalty after the win while bookies shortened him into $5 Melbourne Cup favourite.
The 2010 Melbourne Cup hero was having his first start back in Australia since winning Australia’s greatest race and he kept his unbeaten record in the country intact.
Last year Americain won the Geelong Cup before that fateful day at Flemington and this year the Alain de Royer-Dupre stable chose Moonee Valley Cup as the best prep.
Jockey Gerard Mosse had the seven-year-old beautifully balanced fifth back on the fence in a steadily run race led by South Australian Lalla Rookh.
Caulfield Cup placegetter Tullamore settled third on the fence while the Bart Cummings-trained German import Illo, eventually got into the running line after 600 metres of traveling three wide.
He settled well after that in a top four position.
The race warmed up down by the school when Lalla Rookh put up the white flag and Mosse was caught between horses.
Tullamore and Illo surged forward and Americain at the 500m was checked and lost momentum and a length.
Coming into the home turn the also rans were dropping off and Mosse had clear running on the $3.50 favourite.
He surged the horse to the front under minimal pressure to score easily from Tullamore $4 by two and quarter lengths with Illo $8.50 fading noticeably for third.
Anudjawun $21, ran on well for fourth.
Mosse hadn’t been on the back of Americian for months but was pleased.
”It has been a disappointing in France as we always get a slow paced race or firm ground and he was not very happy, all the year around,” Mosse said.
“But it looks like he really enjoys Australia like me and he showed today just 70% of himself.
“I was quite happy with the acceleration he gave me today with 58kg.
“I think it is a nice preparation so we look forward to the big race coming.
“I think today was a bit like the last gallop (last year), to give him a nice blow but not going deep inside his resources.
“I just made sure he was happy and he gave me a nice kick in the last 200m.
“He makes me happy because this race was a preparation and I think he will improve a lot after the run.
“He is carrying a lot more weight than last year (in the Melbourne Cup) but he is here and everybody is happy.”
|1st||1||AMERICAIN(3)||G Mosse||Alain de Royer Dupre||58.0||2-36.41|
|2nd||4||TULLAMORE(5)||Nash Rawiller||Gai Waterhouse||57.0||2.3L|
|3rd||6||ILLO(8)||Luke Nolen||Bart Cummings||56.5||3.5L|
|4th||10||ANUDJAWUN(9)||Michael Rodd||Shaun Dwyer||55.0||3.9L|
|5th||5||SHEWAN(7)||Chris Symons||Robert Smerdon||57.0||4.1L|
|6th||7||HARRIS TWEED(4)||Brad Rawiller||Murray Baker||56.0||6.9L|
|7th||8||PADDY O’REILLY(1)||Craig Williams||Robert Smerdon||56.0||7.1L|
|8th||11||SWOOPER(2)||Ben Melham||Darryl Dodson||54.0||13.1L|
|9th||9||PERGOLA(10)||James Winks||Colin & Cindy Alderson||55.0||13.6L|
|10th||13||LALLA ROOKH(6)||Clare Lindop||Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas||51.0||25.6L|
|Src||2||BOOMING||Dwayne Dunn||Jeff Lynds|
|Src||3||LINTON||Hugh Bowman||Robert Hickmott|
|Src||12||MONTAHLIA||Dean Yendall||Michael Kent|