Mount Athos was sent off at 13/2 to win the Melbourne Cup last year, but a number of factors conspired against him to ensure that the best Luca Cumani’s charge could do was come home a fast-finishing fifth.
Despite a relatively low draw, Mount Athos got shuffled back early and then ended up having to take almost the widest route as the pace began to quicken.
Two bumps in the final three furlongs by 2010 winner Americain were no help to his chances either as he flew down the centre of the track late on.
There is little doubt that Mount Athos can be seen at his best off a quicker pace, but this does seem unlikely at Flemington and so he may need to be ridden a bit closer to the front this time, while booking an Australian jockey may be a wise move.
Either way, the fact that Mount Athos is 12/1 in the 2013 Melbourne Cup betting looks a big each-way price.
He has been given an identical weight to 12 months ago of 54kg (8st 7lb) and being a six-year-old could prove pivotal too, as this has been the age of the last three Melbourne Cup winners.
Mount Athos has also enjoyed a decent preparation, with his second in the March Stakes at Goodwood last time an eye-catching performance, considering he was closing Harris Tweed with every stride before eventually losing out by a head.
Puissance De Lune remains the Melbourne Cup favourite after the announcement of the weights at 5/1, but there are doubts over the calibre of opposition he has beaten in his career.
Meanwhile, jockey Glen Boss has indicated the favourite’s weight of 54.5kg is a little more than he expected, although not an insurmountable mark.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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