Melbourne Cup champion and reigning favourite Americain is a confirmed runner in Saturday’s Moonee Valley Cup with connections resisting a Cox Plate run and the guaranteed minimum prizemoney of $100,000.
Part-owner Gerry Ryan said he and fellow shareholders of Americain had accepted the advice of trainer Alain de Royer Dupre, the horse’s handler Stephanie Nigge and jockey Gerald Mosse in arriving at their decision on Sunday.
“Both the trainer and the jockey have recommended the Moonee Valley Cup and we agree,” Ryan said.
Ryan said the Cox Plate option over 2040 metres had received lengthy consideration, but the 2500m race on the same program would provide a better preparation for Americain’s bid for back-to-back Melbourne Cups.
“The tempo of the (Cup) would be much more suitable,” Ryan said.
“In the end, it was up to us and we went with the advice.”
He said it boiled down to a decision on whether the connections wanted to win a Cox Plate or another Melbourne Cup.
The decision was overwhelmingly in favour of the latter.
Americain got acquainted with Moonee Valley last week in a comfortable 2000m canter that Nigge said had been vital to the horse’s preparation.
“He was very happy there and he shouldn’t have any big surprises in the race,” Nigge said.
“Ever since he worked at Moonee Valley he has improved in every way.”
She said the Moonee Valley Cup would be the better lead up to Flemington 10 days later.
“We are thinking for the horse only,” she said.
Americain will continue his routine of 2000m daily workouts with a stiff gallop on Thursday.
The French galloper has assumed favouritism for the Melbourne Cup in which he is topweight with 58kg although he would be eligible for a penalty should he win the Moonee Valley race.
TAB Sportsbet lists Americain at $8 with Caulfield Cup runner-up Green Moon and the German import Lucas Cranach next at $11.