Ground concerns for Americain
Wednesday 17 October 2012
Connections of Americain have warned he may bypass Saturday's Caulfield Cup if the ground is unsuitably quick.
The seven-year-old won the Melbourne Cup in 2010 and is due to tackle the mile-and-a-half feature at Caulfield on his way to a repeat trip to Flemington, but Stephanie Nigge, who is supervising Americain's preparation for trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre, has expressed some concerns about the ground and will assess conditions with big-race jockey Gerald Mosse.
"Gerald and I will walk the track on Friday and if we believe it is too firm then Americain will be scratched. Why take the risk?," she told Racing Victoria.
"I spoke to my boss (Alain de Royer Dupre) last night and he said if you think the track is too firm we just scratch."
Americain drew an unfavourable stall for Saturday's contest on Wednesday morning, picking stall 19, although he will break from stall 16 if none of the reserve runners start.
Last year's Melbourne Cup hero Dunaden, trained by Mikel Delzangles, was allotted stall 22.
Geoffrey Fabre, representative of the Dunaden team, said: "Ideally we wanted between six and 11, buried in mid-division, and we'll still try and do the same but it's just going to be very hard from out there. At least we've got two speed horses inside us that we can follow through, so we haven't given up at all.
"We've got the right horse, we haven't got the right gate, but he'll be doing his best."
The Luca Cumani-trained Quest For Peace, who runs with the prefix 'My' in Australia, enjoyed more luck in the draw, being allotted stall two, and had earlier been partnered by new pilot Corey Brown in a spin at the Weribee training centre.
Brown said: "He feels good. He's very similar to Bauer (Cumani's 2008 Melbourne Cup runner up), nice and relaxed. We did some work on the third lap and I was pretty impressed with what I felt, he's feeling very well."