Moore lands plum ride on Melbourne favourite

Luca Cumani has confirmed Ryan Moore will partner ante-post favourite Mount Athos in the Emirates Melbourne Cup at Flemington on November 6.

The five-year-old is unbeaten in three starts since joining the Newmarket-based Italian from David Wachman’s yard in Ireland, winning at Newmarket, York and Newbury under three different jockeys.

Jamie Spencer partnered the Dr Marwan Koukash-owned son of Montjeu on his seasonal return, while Kieren Fallon took over for his victory in the Silver Cup on the Knavesmire.

However, with Fallon guiding the Cumani-trained Afsare to finish second in the Arlington Million on the same day, Ryan Moore was on board for Mount Athos’ hugely impressive Geoffrey Freer Stakes romp and he will retain the plum ride Down Under.

Cumani said: “The owner felt Ryan gave the horse a very good ride at Newbury, not that the other two didn’t, but it was a career-best effort for the horse and he felt it was worth persevering with that partnership.

“It was a very difficult decision as he’s won three races with three different jockeys, all top jockeys.

“There was also the possibility we would be using an Australian, so it was a very tough decision.”

Cumani is set to have two other runners in the race with Quest For Peace, winner of a Group Three at Glorious Goodwood under Fallon, and Ibicenco.

Racing Victoria’s Leigh Jordon told Sky Sports Radio he was looking forward to seeing Moore ride in Melbourne.

He said: “Australia’s the only box he hasn’t ticked so it’s a great announcement.

“It’ll be terrific to have Ryan down here.

“I did speak to him in July when I was down at Sir Michael Stoute’s and he did say he harboured an ambition to not only ride down here, but also to win the Melbourne Cup.

“He’s a fierce competitor and they will know he is there on the day.

“He’s had a couple of offers (to ride) over the years and just hasn’t decided to take them, but this is the horse he’s decided to come with.”

Mount Athos is a best-priced 10-1 with Ladbrokes for the Group One handicap.

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