Connections of international galloper Americain will inspect the Caulfield track today and wait until race morning to give the go ahead for a start in the Group 1 $2.5m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) tomorrow.
French trainer Alain de Royer Dupre and travelling foreman Stephanie Nigge are very concerned with the firmness of the Caulfield track and are suggesting they will scratch the equal top weight if they think it would be detrimental to his chances.
Melbourne Racing Club track manager Jason Kerr will keep to the Racing Victoria’s policy and ensure that a comfortable racing surface is prepared.
Friday morning Kerr rated the Caulfield track a dead 4 after 10mm of irrigation was applied since the Thousand Guineas meeting on Wednesday and will add more water to the track if the forecast suggests that no rain is on the way.
“A penetrometer reading will be conducted at 8am on Friday and the results distributed. I anticipate at this time the surface will remain well into the dead (4) category following Thursday’s irrigation,” Kerr said.
“I will speak to the Bureau of Meteorology at lunchtime on Friday and collate as much data on the weather for the next 30 hours as is available, including temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction, evapotranspiration levels and dew point temperature.”
“Another penetrometer will be conducted at 12.30pm and I will then make a decision as to how much irrigation is applied on Friday afternoon. At this stage I would estimate that would be between 4-7mm. The irrigation will be completed by 6pm on Friday.”
Nigge will walk the circuit with Americain’s Caulfield Cup jockey Gerald Mosse to assess the track and report their thoughts back to de Royer Dupre in France.
Apart from the track issue, Nigge is very happy with the 2010 Melbourne Cup winner and excpects the eight year old to be very competitive.
“He’s lost five kilograms since he galloped last weekend and by Saturday I’m sure he won’t be far from his weight,” Nigge said.
“I am confident he is doing everything right, the weight isn’t a problem and while I’d prefer the ground to be slow he has competed on good as well. I’m really happy with him.”
Nigge said Americain lacked race fitness and to forget the entire’s unplaced effort when sixth to Joshua Tree in the Group 2 €130,000 Darley Prix Kergorlay (1mile, 7 furlongs) at Deauville, France on August 19 at his first run after returning from a preparation under David Hayes in Australia.
“He had two months holiday and only went back into work two weeks before that race,” Nigge said.
“He had to have a race and he was only seventy-five cent of his condition.”
Americain had three runs under Hayes after winning last year’s Group 2 $350,000 Zipping Classic (2400m) at Sandown on November 12.
At his first start for Hayes the French stayer was sent out favourite in the Group 1 $1m Dubai Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 10 and despite charging to line failed to pick up Manighar and Southern Speed.
Americain was then sent out favourite again in the Group 1 $2.25m The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill on April 7 and found Manighar too strong again and at his last start for Hayes was beaten almost six lengths by More Joyous when sixth in the Group 1 $500,000 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 28.
Americain was one of the many chances to draw out wide in the Caulfield Cup, coming up with nineteen in the original draw and is currently $16 in the market with the Gai Waterhouse trained Glencadam Gold still sitting at the top of betting at $5.50 even after coming up with gate twenty-one.
The Mark Kavanagh trained December Draw is on the second line of betting at $7.50 with last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Dunaden at $9 with My Quest For Peace just in front of local hope Lights Of Heaven at $9.50.