Melbourne Cup Hope Mount Athos On Track for Ormonde Stakes

Shortly after Melbourne Cup fifth placegetter Mount Athos returned home to the UK last year, trainer Luca Cumani outlined two goals for 2013.

Mount Athos is on track for the Ormonde Stakes. Photo by: Race Horse Photos Australia.

The first was to win the Ormonde Stakes, the second to win the Melbourne Cup.

While he’ll have to wait until November to try and achieve the latter, Cumani has revealed the son of Montjeu is on track for the Group 3 Ormonde (2700m) which will take place at Chester on May 10.

Cumani said the appeal to contest the Ormonde Stakes came from owner Dr Marwan Koukash.

“Mount Athos will run in the Ormonde Stakes good or faster ground permitting in a bid to give his owner another winner at his local track” Cumani said on his website.

Cumani insists the Melbourne Cup is this year’s major goal but still isn’t sure what path he will take to get there.

“He still has the Melbourne Cup as his long-term aim [but] where he will go after Chester is still very much up in the air,” he said.

Mount Athos hasn’t been seen since running 12th in the Tokyo Cup on his way home from Melbourne in November.

Cumani deliberately raced the six-year-old in last year’s Melbourne Cup without a lead-up as he believes he produces his best performances fresh.

One of the top fancies for this year’s Melbourne Cup, Mount Athos won three consecutive races in the northern hemisphere summer last year including the Group 3 Goeffrey Freer Stakes.

The talented stayer currently occupies the fourth line of betting at $17 in the early Melbourne Cup market.

Darren Weir’s import Puissance De Lune heads the market at $8.

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