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Plenty of European Raiders Remain On Course for Melbourne Cup Bid 05/09/13

Mount Athos and Brown Panther are just a brace of star European entries that are set to head Down Under to compete in the Melbourne Cup on November 5th as they look to etch their name in the illustrious roll of honour for the "Race That Stops A Nation".

Mount Athos
© Racehorse Photos

Mount Athos

Progressive stayer, Puissance De Lune, trained by Darren Weir in Australia, may dominate the ante-post betting for the Flemington showpiece and is the 11/2 ante-post favourite with Bet365, but behind that five-year-old there is an army of European stars who could make the trip to the Southern Hemisphere a to try and bag the two-mile Group One crown.

Luca Cumani has never shied away from the fact that he would love to win this coveted title and he perhaps has unfinished business with the aforementioned Mount Athos, who was an eye-catching fifth in the race 12 months ago having found severe trouble in running and the six-year-old, who was last seen finishing second in a Goodwood Listed event at the end of August, is all set to make the gargantuan trip again in a couple of months and he is a best-priced 20/1 with Bet365 according to the latest odds.

Two starts ago, Mount Athos was comfortably beaten by Brown Panther in the Goodwood Cup at the Glorious meeting and Tom Dascombe’s stable star, owned by Michael Owen, could be another who has the Melbourne Cup on his radar and he is available at the 18/1 mark and will be another flying the British flag in a race that is sure to have a flavour to it come race day as owners trainers bid to emulate the two French winners in 2010 and 2011 and land the $3.3m first prize.

The Mikel Delzangles trained Dunaden was an impressive winner when edging out Red Cadeaux two years ago and those two regular globetrotters are another couple of names in the 135 entries received, but the pair have struggled to show their best form this season, so have been priced up around the 40/1 mark to emerge victorious in November.

Dermot Weld is one European who has managed to train the winner of the race on more than one occasion and the master of Rosewell House could unleash Voleuse De Couers and Pale Mimosa, whilst Ballydoyle supremo Aidan O’Brien may opt to send over Ladbrokes St Leger hopes Leading Light and Foundry.

© Caroline Norris

Another potential star from the Emerald Isle that could try his luck is Ascot Gold Cup runner-up Simenon, who is around a 25/1 mark, and if he can repeat his fine second to The Queen’s Estimate from the Royal meeting then he will be a major player, whilst Sir Michael Stoute’s Hardwicke Stakes victor Sea Moon is another prominent in the betting and may test himself against his Antipodean rivals.

Some familiar old British runners could be seen competing in one of flat racing’s most prestigious races and Carlton House, who was once a major fancy for the Epsom Derby, could take his chance, whilst John Gosden’s former 2011 St Leger winner Masked Marvel and 2012 Great Voltigeur winner, Thought Worthy, could line up in what is all-set to be a competitive affair and a more clear picture of which horses will be making the trip from the Northern Hemisphere will be known once the weights for the race are announced on Tuesday, 17th September.


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