Tired Americain to give Sha Tin a miss
Last year's Melbourne Cup winner Americain will not make another attempt on the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Vase next month, with his Australian connections announcing that he will concentrate on races in that country for the remainder of his career.
In 2010, Alain de Royer Dupre-trained Americain was a beaten favourite in the Vase after taking the Melbourne Cup and his owners were initially keen to have another tilt at the Sha Tin staying showpiece following the horse's fourth in this year's Cup.
But part-owner Gerry Ryan has announced a change of heart and plans to run Americain in Hong Kong and Dubai before his retirement to stand at stud in 2012 have been shelved.
Instead, Americain's globetrotting days are over and he will join an Australian trainer, with David Hayes, Anthony Freedman and Darren Weir under consideration, and he will target domestic Australian Group One staying races in the southern hemisphere autumn. Ryan told Australia media the stallion had pulled up 'a little bit tired' from his dominant Group Two win in Melbourne on Saturday, ruling out Hong Kong, and he added Americain's growing crowd appeal Down Under had also influenced the decision not to travel him again.
'The last thing we wanted to do was flatten him so we'll ease up on him now and look to races next year,' Ryan said. 'As for Dubai, the ground might have been too hard for him over there and as he is getting older, he's got a few aches and pains so we thought it best he stays here.' Also in Vase news, De Royer Dupre-trained Shareta, runner-up to Danedream in the recent Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, is being considered for a return bout with the German filly in the Japan Cup as an alternative to Sha Tin, despite the trainer's excellent past record with fillies in the Hong Kong internationals.
Top trainer John Size faces an inquiry later today into the finding of omeprazole and its metabolite, hydroxyomeprazole, in a urine sample from Endless Luck after the horse was unplaced at Sha Tin on October 1.