10/30/2010 2:49PM

So You Think will come back on two days' rest in Melbourne Cup after winning Mackinnon


The 150th running of the Melbourne Cup Handicap at Flemington on Tuesday will have a rare American angle as Americain, now trained in France by Alain de Royer-Dupre after a brief, unsuccessful stint with Todd Pletcher, will start as one of the favorites in what has become the world’s second richest horse race at $6.04 million.

Bred in Kentucky, Americain is a 5-year-old son of Dynaformer who won the 1 15/16-mile, Group 2 Prix Vicomtesse Vigier at Longchamp in May 2009 when trained for his owner/breeders, the Wertheimer brothers, by Andre Fabre. Sent to America, he was unplaced in three races between 11 and 12 furlongs as those distances proved too short for him. Back in France, he won three in a row this summer, the last in Deauville’s 1 7/8-mile, Group 2 Prix Kergorlay.

Americain, who will be ridden by Gerald Mosse, was in danger of failing to get into the 24-horse field until he won the 1 1/2-mile, Group  3 Geelong Cup on Wednesday. Assured of his spot and sure to stay two miles, he is capable of giving France its first victory in Australia’s most famous race.

Local heroes Shocking and So You Think will both be coming back on short rest after running in Saturday’s Group 1, 1 1/4-mile Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington.

So You Think solidified his status as the Melbourne Cup favorite by easily winning the Mackinnon by three lengths, just a week after winning the 1 1/4-mile Cox Plate. He has now won five in a row, the last four at the Group 1 level.

His trainer, Bart Cummings, has won the Melbourne Cup, Australia’s most prestigious race, 12 times.

An Australian-bred son of Street Cry trained by Mark Kavanaugh, defending champ Shocking is a Flemington course specialist with three victories from four starts there. He was sixth in the Mackinnon.

Other European entries of note are Goodwood Cup winner Illustrious Blue, Prix Kergorlay runner-up Manighar, and Profound Beauty, who will be trying to give Dermot Weld his third Melbourne Cup triumph.