|Americain handed top-weight ahead of Melbourne Cup repeat bid|
Alain de Royer-Dupre's Americain, a brilliant winner of the 2010 Melbourne Cup at Flemington last November, has been allotted top-weight of 9st 2lbs in his bid to land Australia's greatest horse race for the second year in succession, writes Elliot Slater.
In handing the six-year-old 7lbs more than when successful by two-and-three-quarter-lengths from Maluckyday and subsequent European pattern race sensation So You Think last year, Racing Victoria's chief handicapper Greg Carpenter observed that the rise in the weights for the first ever French-trained winner of 'the race that stops a nation' was simply a reflection of his superiority of what had appeared to be one of the most competitive fields for the Melbourne Cup assembled in recent years. People who bet horse racing money will find it hard to pick a winner.
The son of Dynaformer had won the Grade 3 Geelong Handicap before going on to triumph over the two-miles of the Flemington spectacular, and subsequently journeyed on to the Far East where he ran another cracker to finish a fine third behind Mastery in the Grade 1 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Vase over 12 furlongs in mid-December. After a well earned break from his globetrotting schedule, Americain took a couple of races to return to form in landing the listed Prix de Reux at Deauville before suffering a nightmare passenger on a return visit to the Normandy track. There, he was twice hampered in finishing down the field in the Group 2 Prix de Kergorlay on August 21, a race won by subsequent Irish St Leger dead-heater Jukebox Jury, the Mark Johnston-trained grey being another possible acceptor for the big race 'Down Under' in which he has been handed just 2lbs less than last year's hero in being allotted a racing weight 9 stones.
Americain has been priced up as a 16/1 shot in the horse racing odds to repeat his success last year, whilst Jukebox Jury is on offer at 25/1.