A second Melbourne Cup is looming for the 2010 champion Americain after he drew perfectly for Tuesday’s $6 million race.
Americain, the pre-draw favourite, will jump from barrier 12, a gate his part-owner Gerry Ryan described as “perfect”.
“We’re going to be very competitive,” Ryan said.
“The horse is still improving, he can run in any conditions and we have the right jockey.”
Already the Cup favourite before the draw, Americain’s prospects grew stronger as each barrier was selected.
His fellow French raider Dunaden suffered a slight blow drawing barrier 16 and Red Cadeaux, the runner-up last year, drew 18.
Bookmakers reacted by trimming Americain in to $5, leaving Dunaden on the second line at $7.
Dunaden’s barrier, two closer to the inside than the one from which he won the Caulfield Cup, failed to dim the enthusiasm of his owner Sheikh Fahad al Thani.
“He was only 80 per cent fit in the Caulfield Cup,” said Sheikh Fahad.
“I’m not too worried about the barrier.
“He is a champion and he will be ridden by a champion.”
The long-time Melbourne Cup 2012 favourite Mount Athos fared best of the visiting horses with barrier eight.
He is an $8 chance, with bookmakers anticipating a strong move for the Luca Cumani-trained galloper who will be ridden by champion English jockey Ryan Moore.
“Ryan will be able to do whatever he needs to from that barrier,” Cumani said.
“He has all the options, all he needs.”
The leading local hope, Maluckyday became even more of a favourite to repel the internationals whose domination of the race has never been greater.
The runner-up to Americain in 2010, Maluckyday drew barrier nine and is rated a $13 chance.
Forty horses made the final acceptance payment for the Cup with the Victoria Racing Club putting the top 24 into the field.
The final place in the Cup was claimed earlier on Saturday by Kelinni whose win in the Lexus Stakes earned him automatic entry.
Of the 24 runners, eight are foreign-trained and 18 began their careers in either Europe or the United States.