Trainer delighted with Americain

Alain de Royer Dupre believes Americian is better 12 months on, but admits he’ll need to be.

French trainer Alain de Royer Dupre declared today that Emirates Melbourne Cup favourite Americain was in better shape now than at the same time last year.

Royer Dupre, who arrived in Melbourne last night, visited the Werribee International Horse Centre this morning and was delighted with the condition of the defending cup champion

“I think he looks better now, very healthy and fresh, but then again he has more weight this year,” Royer Dupre said.

Anericain is topweight with 58kgs in the $6.5 million Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m), 3.5kgs more than he carried to victory in the historic 150th edition 12 months ago.

“I think there are many other chances this year so he will need to be better,” Royer Dupre said, adding that Americain seems to produce his very best form when in Australia.

With Melbourne experiencing a wet Sunday Royer Dupre echoed the sentiments of the most of the international trainers when he said “the more rain the better” for Americain.

Fellow French trainer Mikel Delzangles, who worked for Royer Dupre for 10 years before taking out his own licence, said it was Americain’s win last year that inspired him to try his hand with Tuesday’s second favourite Dunaden.

“He (Dunaden) has beaten Americain three times this year and he meets him better at the weights,” Delzangles said.

Newmarket-based trainer Luca Cumani, who has Manighar and Drunken Sailor in the Cup, raised a laugh at today’s media call, indulging in a spot of wishful thinking when he labelled Dunaden as the best of his runners.

“He’s a progressive stayer who looks well weighted to me,” Cumani said referring to the 54.5kgs to be carried by Dunaden, an impressive winner of the Geelong Cup (2400m) a fortnight ago.

Cumani said Manighar, who finished seventh in last year’s Cup, would run well again but it was a harder contes this year.

As for the chances of Drunken Sailor, Cumani said, “You’ll have to ask him that….it really depends which side of the bed he gets out of on Tuesday.”

Cumani reiterated that 2008 Melbourne Cup runner-up Bauer would have been his stable’s best chance this year had he made the final starting line-up of 24.

Bauer was 25th in the Order of Entry when final declarations were taken on Saturday and missed out on getting start by less than $1000 in prize money.

UK trainer Ed Dunlop, on his first visit to Australia with a horse, was impressed with the way Red Cadeaux worked on Saturday, finishing off strongly at the end of a 1400-metre gallop.

The talented horseman is another who would like to see more rain because Red Cadeaux, who’ll be ridden by Michael Rodd, excels with the sting out of the ground.

Yorkshire-based trainer Mark Johnston, who has the highly rated Jukebox Jury and Fox Hunt in the Cup, said his horses had impressive form around several other international contenders but “this is a very definite kettle of fish.”

This is Johnston’s fourth attempt to win the Melbourne Cup after previous visits in 1994, 1995 and 1999 failed to produce a placegetter.

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