2013 Melbourne Cup placegetter Mount Athos has been transferred from the stable of Luca Cumani to that of his former assistant Marco Botti.
Mount Athos has been prepared by Cumani since the Italian took over from David Wachman at the end of 2011 and he has turned the gelding from a middling stayer into an international Group 1 contender but colourful owner Marwan Koukash has elected to make a stable change before the son of Montjeu runs in the Dubai World Cup meeting at Meydan in March.
“I would like to thank Luca Cumani for looking after Mount Athos for the last two years,” Koukash posted on Twitter.
“Mount Athos will join the Marco Botti yard so he could run in Dubai.”
Botti worked with Cumani, as well as Godolphin and Ed Dunlop, before starting his own stable in 2006 and has quickly become one of the best young trainers in Europe; taking out the 2011 Group 1 Prix Du Moulin De Longchamp with Excelebration, the 2012 Group 1 Canadian International Stakes with Joshua Tree and the 2013 Group 1 Prix Royal-Oak with Tac De Boistron.
The Newmarket-based trainer has become the leading European-based trainer for Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock and has Jakkalberry, Dandino, Tac De Boistron as well as Kelinni under his care.
Botti has already had success in Australia; with Jakkalberry finishing third in the 2012 Melbourne Cup (3200m) and Dandino finishing second in the 2013 Caulfield Cup (2400m) before finishing an unlucky fifth in the 2013 Melbourne Cup.
Mount Athos had eleven starts under the care of Cumani and recorded victories in the Poptelecom.Co.Uk Handicap (2816m), the Listed Silver Cup (2816m), the Group 3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes (2670m) and the Group 3 Ormonde Stakes (2696m).
Cumani brought Mount Athos to Australia for the 2012 Melbourne Cup and he started the race as one of the favourites but finished an unlucky fifth before finishing a disappointing 12th behind Gentildonna in the Group 1 Japan Cup (2413m).
Mount Athos failed to fire in the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes (2414m) and Group 2 Goodwood Cup (3218m) during the 2013 racing season but returned to his best form with a second place finish in the Listed March Stakes before finishing third behind Fiorente and Red Cadeaux in the Melbourne Cup.
He had his final race start for Cumani in the Group 1 Hong Kong Vase (2400m) and finished ninth behind Dominant, The Fugue and Dunaden.