Mount Athos rout in the UK

| August 18, 2013

mountathosThe Luca Cumani-trained Mount Athos made a successful return to action when making all the running to land the Ormonde Stakes. Mount Athos, making his first start since finishing in mid-division in the Japan Cup, was sent straight into the lead byJamie Spencer and was never seriously threatened as he romped clear of his rivals, beating the nine-year-old runner-up Mad Moose by nine lengths. The major disappointment of the race was last year’s winnerMemphis Tennesse, who was sent off as favourite at a BSP of 2.22 but could never land a serious blow and trailed home a disappointing fourth. Mount Athos was an unlucky fifth in last year’s Melbourne Cup and connections have stated that the prestigious handicap will once again be the main objective.

“We could take him to York next week (for the Yorkshire Cup) as he hasn’t really had a race today,” Koukash said.

“I’m sure he works harder at home than he has today.

“The Melbourne Cup is the ultimate aim. We may take him to Ascot for the Gold Cup, speaking to the handicapper in Australia, they assure me for an Ascot Gold Cup winner it would be no more than 55kg so we may consider that.”

Cumani quickly shot down the idea of a quick return on the Knavesmire, though.

He said: “He doesn’t go (to York). He’s too good a horse to run that often. Marwan gave me two objectives this year, this race and the Melbourne Cup, so now it’s all eyes on the Melbourne Cup.

“He’s a very, very generous horse and puts a lot into what he does. He’s always very eager to please and although he looks like he’s doing it easily, he does put a lot of effort in.

“Last year he won his three races in England nicely spaced out and I think we’ll stick with the plan.

“He will probably have another two, or maybe three races, before the Melbourne Cup but we’re not going to abuse him at this stage.”

Spencer said: “You can see for yourself (the ground) is all scuffed up (on the rail) and this horse is a real fast ground horse.

“It was very brave of Mr Cumani and Dr Koukash to run as conditions were against him – God help the rest of them if it was fast”

Mount Athos will again be aimed at the Melbourne Cup.

A luckless fifth in the 2012 Melbourne Cup, Mount Athos is the TAB’s third favourite in opening markets for this year’s race.

Jamie Spencer was positive from the outset on Mount Athos in Friday’s race and ran out a nine length winner over Mad Moose.

Owner Dr Marwan Koukash was contemplating a quick back-up at York but trainer Luca Cumani said that would not happen.

“Marwan gave me two objectives this year, this race and the Melbourne Cup, so now it’s all eyes on the Melbourne Cup,” Cumani said.

“He’s a very, very generous horse and puts a lot into what he does. He’s always very eager to please and although he looks like he’s doing it easily, he does put a lot of effort in.

“Last year he won his three races in England nicely spaced out and I think we’ll stick with the plan.

“He will probably have another two, or maybe three races, before the Melbourne Cup but we’re not going to abuse him at this stage.”

Koukash said the Ascot Gold Cup would be his summer objective in England.

“The Melbourne Cup is the ultimate aim. We may take him to Ascot for the Gold Cup,” he said.

“Speaking to the handicapper in Australia, they assure me for an Ascot Gold Cup winner it would be no more than 55kg so we may consider that.”

Race replay: http://youtu.be/mElW21BJgTU

 

 


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