Americain registered another feature Australian win at Sandown on Saturday.
Popular French stayer Americain gained some consolation for his luckless Emirates Melbourne Cup defeat when he won Saturday’s $350,000 Group 2 Zipping Classic at Betfair Park Sandown.
Last year’s Melbourne Cup winner lived up to his drawcard billing at the final metropolitan feature meeting of the 2011 Spring Racing Carnival with a soft win over fellow European Manighar and import Mourayan in the 2400-metre event.
It was his first outing since his monster fourth placing in the $6 million Melbourne Cup, when he carried the 58kg top weight and was pushed wide on the home turn but still surged late to get within 1.3 lengths of compatriot Dunaden.
Part-owner Kevin Bamford said it was a relief to see the seven-year-old, who won the Group 2 Drake International (Moonee Valley) Cup at his first outing this spring, return to the winner’s list and give the crowd of almost 11,000 something to cheer about.
“I think there’s a few people here today because of him and I’m glad he didn’t let anyone down,” Bamford said.
Americain’s class got him home in a tactical affair. Jockey Gerald Mosse was happy to sit back in second-last position despite the slow tempo set by Mourayan and he waited until well into the straight before asking for the supreme effort.
The son of Dynaformer took 100m to warm up, but after hitting top gear the $1.60 favourite quickly reeled in the leaders before coasting home by three quarters of a length from Manighar ($13), who finished a short half head in advance of Mourayan ($4.80).
Mosse, who partnered Americain to his Melbourne Cup win, was thrilled to win another race aboard the entire, who he felt had the race won a long way out.
“This horse is a bit special for me, he make me famous in all of Australia,” Mosse said with a smile.
“He’s already proved he has some serious quality, the only problem the other day in the Melbourne Cup, when everybody feel sad about him was the weight was a bit heavy for him over the two miles.
“Today we have a perfect race – set weights, the ground a bit softer – (and he was a) different animal.
“From the 400 to the 300 he always have a big flat spot. I have to respect him and I just show him my whip to say ‘you get going now because if not I’m going to use it’ and then he turned his engine on and in three strides he came up next to them and I know the game is over.”
The Zipping Classic is likely to be the last time Americain races in Melbourne, but where his next start will be – if at all – will be decided by Bamford and co-owner Gerry Ryan in coming days.
“Gerry and I will sit down and talk it over and talk about the options,” Bamford said. “The options are several, including going to stud, the Ranvet and BMW (in Sydney next autumn), Hong Kong (next month) or Dubai (in March). He probably won’t go back to Europe though.”