Mount Athos’ disappointing run when sent off a popular favourite for the Goodwood Cup left many scratching the earth for an explanation.
However, for fans of Luca Cumani’s globetrotter that dismal eighth place in the Group 2 contest could be a blessing in disguise with a bigger contest Down Under now the key target.
The layers were as unimpressed as anyone by the six-year-old’s performance and have reacted by pushing the eight-time winner out to 12/1 for the southern hemisphere showpiece in November.
Attaining that price a week ago would have been unthinkable and although the Sussex showing was anything but encouraging there are grounds to forgive.
What makes that process more difficult is the fact that Mount Athos’ penultimate run in the Hardwicke Stakes at Ascot also failed to inspire confidence.
Although only 3¾ lengths behind the ill-fated Thomas Chippendale there were still four horses in front that day, the first time the gelding had been beaten by so many in Britain since 2010.
Coupled with this latest effort it leaves little doubt that the momentum gained from a progressive hat-trick around this time last year has ran out, but there is still enough time between now and November for that winning thread to be re-discovered.
Ultimately, he has finished in front in half of his last eight starts and with only 3¼ lengths to find from last year’s renewal a price of 12/1 makes appeal.
Having previous experience of Flemington is always a significant positive and with a more sympathetic handicap mark to deal with because of his poor form the price available now could look very appetising come Bonfire Night.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing