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Can Athos Finally Win Melbourne Cup for Cumani?


Few trainers have come closer to winning the Melbourne Cup than the charming Newmarket-based Italian, Luca Cumani, who twice lost out in photo-finishes to 'the race that stops a nation' in recent years.
Cumani's Purple Moon lost out narrowly in the 2007 renewal, while there was agony for the British handler 12 months later as his Bauer failed by just a nose to get the verdict over Viewed in a memorable battle for the top-class two-mile staying handicap at Flemington.

Last term, Cumani's luck was out once again as his smart stayer, Mount Athos, owned by the flamboyant Dr Marwan Koukash, got into a barging match early in the contest under Ryan Moore, before finishing faster than anything to fly home into fifth place behind Green Moon.

This term, Mount Athos' campaign has been specifically tailored to a repeat bid for the Emirates Melbourne Cup, but his season has not been without controversy. The mild-mannered trainer has been unusually forthright about the way his charge has been ridden in recent outings by former British champion jockey, Jamie Spencer.

Describing Spencer as having given his horse "two very bad rides", Cumani made it clear that someone else will be doing the steering at Flemington and that the gelded son of Montjeu is in terrific form at present having failed by just a head to overhaul the useful Harris Tweed at Goodwood in the listed March Stakes on August 24.

British racing betting firms have a range of opinions on the chance of Mount Athos improving on his run in the Melbourne Cup last term, some going as short as 10/1, while other racing live betting outlets suggest odds as big as 16/1 about Cumani finally getting the win in the race he surely deserves.