Owner Gerry Ryan is confident that he has all his bases cover with French trained stallion Americain going into the 2012 Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on Tuesday.
The 2010 Melbourne Cup winner came up with barrier twelve at the official barrier draw at Flemington today and retained his spot at the head of the market order at $5.
Ryan said the eight year old is in the best condition of his career and the booking of top Melbourne jockey Damien Oliver has added more confidence to the stable.
“Great barrier draw. We’re very happy, the horse is in great condition and Stephanie (travelling foreman) is the most relaxed I’ve seen. She said it’s the most confident I’ve ever been,” Ryan said.
“We’re going to be very competitive and someone told me its going to be 50mm dropped on the track that day.”
“Either way the horse can run on any condition and he proved that at Caulfield so let’s give it our best shot.”
Americain was having his first run since finishing sixth to Joshua Tree in the Group 2 €130,000 Darley Kergorlay (3000m) at Deauville, France on August 19 when an eye catching fourth to Dunaden in the Group 1 $2.5m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 20 when ridden by French jockey Gerald Mosse.
Ryan’s decision of replacing Mosse with Oliver was well received with Americain’s followers with the French galloper immediately firming into favourite and maintaining that spot after the crucial barrier draw.
“We looked at it and we looked at every way that Gerald has ridden the horse, you can’t be three wide, 58 on your back and especially this year’s field has been the best he’s ever run in,” Ryan said.
“We need to have every one per cent up our sleeve and the one per cents make a hundred per cent,” Ryan said.
“The depth is fantastic, we might be favourite with the bookies but there’s a lot of competition and hopefully we’ve got the best horse on the day.”
Oliver got acquainted with Americain on Wednesday morning and Ryan said that he got a good feel for the Melbourne Cup favourite.
“He got off and smiled. I sent him a SMS saying make sure those Group 1s keep coming,” Ryan said.
And Oliver did keep the Group 1s coming at Flemington today when he rode the Anthony Cummings trained Fiveandahalfstar to collect his fourth Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m).
The Oliver factor no doubt has seen Americain retain the favourite spot at $5 in front of last year’s Melbourne cup winner Dunaden at $7 and the Luca Cumani trained Mount Athos at $8.50 while 2011 runner-up Red Cadeaux is next in the betting at $10.