Mount Athos heads Melbourne Cup international entrants

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 It’s been an up and down summer for the Luca Cumani camp with Mount Athos, but a strong showing second time around at Goodwood has renewed optimism for Melbourne Cup glory.

A poor showing when heavy favourite to come home only eighth on the opening day of August at Goodwood was pushed aside by a strong run to second three weeks later.

Just failing to concede 5lbs in weight to proven stayer Harris Tweed, Mount Athos can now be backed at 12/1 to claim success Down Under in November.

The Dr Marwan Koukash-owned Bay Gelding was a star of last year’s race, finishing strongly in fifth despite a couple of bumps along the two-mile course.

With that experience under its saddle, and the strong run at Goodwood to build on, this year could be Cumani’s best shot yet at claiming the elusive Australian showpiece.

Puissance de Lune remains favourite at 5/1 following a scintillating run at the Lawrence Stakes at Caulfield.

Glen Boss guided the five-year-old from seven lengths back off the turn to claim a storming victory by three quarters of a length and increase the hype surrounding it’s Melbourne Cup chances.

The sire of Shamardal has won twice at Flemington in the past 12 months although sceptics will point to the fact that no horse has won the Lawrence Stakes and the Melbourne Cup in the same year.

Fiorente is 10/1 to go one better than last year’s second place, and the Gai Waterhouse-trained Bay Colt is taking the same racing path to the Cup as 2012 winner Green Moon who is at 25/1 to replicate that success.

An opening race of the year at the Memsie Stakes at Caulfield yielded sixth but with the potential for more having been crowded for space in the final stages.

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Richard Marsh

Richard loves his sport, especially if it involves the sound of tyres screaming around a race track. He's not fussy though and his '90s Premier League nostalgia and knowledge of team nicknames is tough to match.