Racing: Americain back in race that shapes the Melbourne Cup

All Too Hard will step out at Rosehill today. Photo / Theo Karanikos
All Too Hard will step out at Rosehill today. Photo / Theo Karanikos

The race that provides serious clues to the Melbourne Cup is run this weekend - not at Caulfield or Rosehill or in New Zealand - but in the French seaside resort of Deauville.

The Group Two Prix Kergorlay (3000m) has hinted at the Melbourne Cup outcome for more than a decade.

But more recently it has been the launching pad for the past two Melbourne Cup champions and in 2011 provided the first two across the line, Dunaden and Red Cadeaux, as well as the fourth and fifth finishers.

This year's Kergorlay is run tomorrow night and will feature the return to racing of the French 2010 Melbourne Cup winner Americain.

Among the other nine runners are the likely cup entrants Vadamar, trained by Mikel Delzangles who prepared Dunaden, Shahwardi, Tres Rock Danon and Miss Lago.

Last year's Kergorlay ranked as one of the strongest Melbourne Cup form races ever run, producing not only the first two, but fourth placegetter Americain and the fifth horse home, Manighar.

The Kergorlay will be Americain's first start since returning to his French trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre, who has overseen his two Melbourne Cup campaigns.

Co-owner Colleen Bamford said de Royer-Dupre had done a great job to have the horse ready to run.

Americain is back with de Royer-Dupre after a luckless three-run autumn campaign with David Hayes.

It is possible that Americain won't have another run before returning to Melbourne.

• In a week when one of racing's headline acts was ruled out of the spring, another with the potential to light up the carnival will step out at Rosehill today.

All Too Hard, the half-brother to champion Black Caviar, will make his highly-anticipated seasonal return in the group three San Domenico Stakes as a stepping stone to major Group One spring targets.

The Golden Rose (1400m) next month is the valuable colt's first major aim before attention is likely to be shifted to Melbourne and the Caulfield Guineas.

All Too Hard, trained by the Hawkes family and owned by Nathan Tinkler, is also among nominations for the Cox Plate, which lost its early favourite this week when Atlantic Jewel was ruled out of the carnival through injury.

The San Domenico Stakes (1100m) has a small line-up, but features not only All Too Hard but Golden Slipper runner-up Snitzerland and Magic Millions winner Driefontein in the six-horse field. All Too Hard has drifted slightly to $1.70 with TAB Sportsbet with Snitzerland tightening from $3.20 to $3.

-AAP

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