Luca Cumani will be hoping the impressive Mount Athos can break his Melbourne Cup jinx and bookmakers think he might just do that, promoting him to the top of betting following a slogging victory in Saturday's Group3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury.
"Melbourne here we come," winning owner Marwan Koukash told Racing Post
"That was fantastic, beating Group 1 horses. I always had confidence in him. He will go into quarantine and go to Australia early."
It was the third win from as many starts this year for Mount Athos who was coming off a victory in the Listed John Smith's Silver Cup at York on July 14.
From a pedigree viewpoint the two miles at Flemington would hold little fear.
A son of the sadly missed classic influence Montjeu (pictured), Mount Athos is a half-brother to the top 3yo colt Imperial Monarch (Galileo) who won the Grand Prix de Paris (G1) on the day Mount Athos won at York.
Their dam Ionian Sea is a stakes-winning daughter of the Epsom Derby winner Slip Anchor. She is herself a half-sister to Epsom Derby runner-up Blue Stag (Sadler's Wells) and French Derby runner-up Oscar (Sadler's Wells).