Anyone who watched the past two Melbourne Cups would not doubt the ability of Americain after a 2010 Cup win and an unlucky fourth this year.
But going into Saturday’s Zipping Classic (2400m) the next question is how tough is Americain?
It is a good thing they re-named the Sandown Classic after the great Zipping who won four in a row before retirement this year.
He deserved the honour not only because of the multiple wins but because of his toughness.
Three of his four wins came after the Melbourne Cup and in the history of the now Zipping Classic, it is more rare than often they came out of the Cup and win.
Those who have in the past 20 years have been tough, just the number of starts they had can tell us that.
Only five horses have won the Classic after competing in the Cup in the past 20 years.
Generally the grand final of Cup day makes the back up in the Classic too hard.
And those outside Zipping ran badly in the Cup, not exerting themselves in the final 400m before winning the Classic.
Hail (2002 12th Melbourne Cup btn13l), Sky Heights (2003 8th Melbourne Cup btn 9l), Count Chivas (1995 11th Melbourne Cup btn 33l), Our Pompeii (1994 Melbourne Cup 15th btn 13l).
These horses were tough nonetheless. Hail had 45 starts, Sky Heights 42, Count Chivas 48 and Our Pompeii 89.
Americain didn’t have the luxury of a cushy last 400m in the 2011 Cup, in fact he worked harder than any other horse.
Under 58kg, near last and widest on the home turn, it was an enormous run to finish fourth beaten a length and a half behind Dunaden.
It wasn’t one of jockey Gerald Mosse’s greatest rides, he even admits to that one, but the question now is what has the Australian owned star stayer Americain have left in the tank?
Prior to this campaign, the closest races Americain has run together have been 13 days apart and that was the gap between the 2010 Geelong Cup and Melbourne Cup.
That was cut down to 10 days this year between the Moonee Valley Cup and Melbourne Cup.
The seven-year-old has never had three runs in such a short space as he is attempting now and that after coming off a tough Melbourne Cup.
His minder Stephanie Nigge says he has bounced back from the Melbourne Cup in fine style.
She above all has been credited with the horse’s terrific runs.
Rival Charlie Henson, the man with Manighar, says that if Americain “turns up” he will win.
Bookmakers have Americain at $1.50 to beat his other four opponents.
Of those other four Manighar and Saptapadi ran in the Melbourne Cup – Manighar (5th btn 3l) and Saptapadi (16th btn 8l).
Mourayan and Lamasery missed the Cup through injury – it may prove to be a blessing for this race.
If tipping on the race one has to tip Americain – he demands it.
If punting on the there is just that little niggle – how tough is Americain?