The Luca Cumani trained Mount Athos continues to ease in Melbourne Cup betting following the horror gate the English stayer came up with at the official barrier draw at Flemington on Saturday.
Mount Athos has drifted out to $9.50 after coming up with barrier twenty-two in the twenty-four horse field of the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) on Tuesday.
The Montjeu seven year old was at one time sharing favouritism with the Gai Waterhouse trained import Fiorente around the $7 mark but has lost some of his admirers after drawing the car park.
Fiorente is holding onto the top spot in the Melbourne Cup betting at $7.50 after drawing perfectly at gate five and will have the services of two time Melbourne Cup winning jockey Damien Oliver.
Craig Williams has the job of steering Mount Athos on Tuesday and will have his hands full in trying to get him anywhere near the inside running rail.
Cumani was obviously disappointed with the nightmare barrier draw and will have to leave it completely in the hands of Williams to find the best path home.
“It is up to Craig to find a position and hopefully there is a bit of pace and the field strings out a little bit and we can slot in somewhere,” Cumani said.
“It certainly shouldn’t be a hindrance; Craig is a great jockey and he knows the track like the back of his hand.
“He has ridden in plenty of Melbourne Cups and he will know what to do.”
“We are excited to have a horse good enough to be here and obvious twenty-two is a little bit wide, it’s better than twenty-four.”
Cumani was quick to find some positives and was hoping for better luck on the day after Mount Athos was caught wide in last year’s Melbourne Cup and had a horrid run before finishing fifth to Green Moon who is also going around again and is a $34 chance to make it back to back wins.
“The good thing is we are not going to be in the stalls for too long. He looks to be in very good form,” Cumani said.
Cumani took Mount Athos to Tokyo after last year’s Melbourne Cup where he finished twelfth in the Group 1 US$6.5m Japan Cup (2400m) before heading back to England for a well-deserved break.
At his first run back this year, Mount Athos scored a nine lengths win at Chester in England in the Group 3 £75,000 Boodles Diamond Ormonde Stakes (1mile 5½ furlongs) on May 10.
He was then unplaced at Ascot and Goodwood before being beaten a head in the Listed £40,000 March Stakes (1 mile 6 furlongs) at Goodwood on August 24 at his last run before travelling to Australia.