2010 Melbourne Cup winner who is a favourite amongst Australian racing fans. He’s only finished outside the top four once in Australia, and that was over the unsuitable distance of 2000m in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick in April. He’s definitely had one of the more unconventional preparations for a Melbourne Cup – he stayed in Australia following his Zipping Classic win at Sandown last November, transferred to David Hayes at Euroa. He didn’t seem to be a happy horse at Euroa, even though he was joined by his handler Stephanie Nigge. He ran a first up third in the Australian Cup before running second in The BMW and sixth in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes – good runs, but not what was expected of him.
In May, the decision was made to send him back to France to rejoin Alain de Royer-Dupre, with the intention of bringing him through the Werribee quarantine centre – a winning formula previously. He had one run in France, a disappointing sixth in the Prix Kergorlay, before coming back here. Incidentally, his run this year was almost identical to his run in the same race last year. He showed in the Caulfield Cup, when a huge fourth, that he would be a big Melbourne Cup chance and it is not surprising he is now favourite. The booking of Damien Oliver, who rides the Melbourne Cup as well as any jockey, is crucial.
Americain showed last year he could carry 58kg and win – his run was as big as that of Dunaden and Red Cadeaux. He meets them both better at the weights, and he looks a big chance of becoming only the second horse to win two Melbourne Cups in non-consecutive years (Peter Pan won his two Cups in 1932 and 1934). Any rain around will only assist his prospects. Must rate as a big chance.
$1400 IN FREE BETS on AMERICAIN
Bred in: United States
Trainer: Alain de Royer-Dupre
Jockey: Damien Oliver
Career Stats: 33:11-4-4
Last 5 Starts: 326×64
Biggest Win: Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m), Flemington, 2/11/2010
TAB Sportsbet Fixed Odds (as at 7pm, Sunday November 4): $5