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Mount Athos - Newbury - 18.8.12

Mount Athos and Ryan Moore teamed up to win the Geoffrey Freer

  PICTURE: Mark Cranham (  

Moore to ride Mount Athos in Melbourne Cup

RYAN MOORE is set to have his first ride in the Melbourne Cup after Luca Cumani confirmed he would retain the mount on Mount Athos, who he rode to victory in the Geoffrey Freer Stakes.

Mount Athos has also won for Jamie Spencer and Kieren Fallon this year but owner Marwan Koukash has gone for Moore in the wake of his last-time-out success over Brown Panther in Newbury's Group 3 contest.

Mount Athos is favourite across the board for the November 6 handicap at Flemington and Boylesports fell into line with most other layers on Friday by cutting him to 8-1 (from 10).

Cumani has made winning the Melbourne Cup a priority, having come so close to victory when Bauer was beaten a nose in 2008 and Purple Moon went down by half a length the year before, and has another strong team lined up to challenge alongside Mount Athos.

The Newmarket trainer said Australian jockeys were likely to be chosen for his OTI Racing-owned challengers Quest For Peace and Ibicenco, as they have Australian connections, but no decision had been made over who would partner Afsare in his likely target - the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley on October 27.

Quest For Peace is as short as 20-1 for the race that stops a nation, while Ibicenco is a general 33-1 chance. Bet365 are the only firm to have priced up the Cox Plate as yet and they quote Afsare at 50-1.




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