Luca Cumani has described the 2013 Melbourne Cup odds for Dunaden as crazy and rates the two-time Australian Group 1 winner as one of the biggest dangers to Mount Athos at Flemington next Tuesday.
Mount Athos has been well backed to give Cumani his first ever victory in ‘the race that stops a nation’ but the leading European trainer could not look past the Melbourne Cup odds of Dunaden who is currently available at $34.
European raiders Voleuse De Coeurs and Tres Blue have both been major market movers but Dunaden remains friendless in betting and Cumani told AAP that he can’t believe the lack of support for the veteran stayer.
“I saw that Dunaden is at $25 and I think that’s crazy,” Cumani said.
“For a horse that’s won a Melbourne Cup and a Caulfield Cup it’s a bit of an insult.
“He’s just as good as he’s always been and everyone knows he gets better when he comes here.”
While Dunaden was only brought to Australia for the Melbourne Cup at the last minute, with owners originally setting the eight-year-old for the Group 1 Prix de l’Arc De Triomphe in France, our most famous race has always been on the agenda for Cumani’s charge Mount Athos.
Mount Athos started his 2013 campaign with a dominant nine lengths victory in the Group 3 Ormonde Stakes (2696m) but failed to perform at his best in the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes (2414m) at Royal Ascot and the Group 2 Goodwood Cup (3218m); with Cumani blaming poor rides from Jamie Spencer, who will ride Dunaden in the Melbourne Cup, on both occasions.
The Montjeu gelding returned to his best form when he finished a narrow second behind Harris Tweed in the Listed March Stakes (2816m) and Cumani is confident that last year’s fifth placegetter is primed for next week’s Melbourne Cup.
“He put in two bad runs but last time out he was excellent,” Cumani said.
“He’s travelled well, settled in nicely and has been working strongly.”
Mount Athos worked at the International Equine Centre at Werribee yesterday morning and according to Cumani has settled in to his new environment better than he did twelve months ago.
The 2013 Melbourne Cup will be the eighth edition of the race in which Luca Cumani has had a runner but he is still chasing his first victory after finishing second with Purple Moon (2007) and Bauer (2008).