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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Koukash sweet on Athos chanceHeadlines
Mount Athos

Connections of Mount Athos are hoping the five-year-old can capitalise on a good draw in Sunday's Japan Cup to make amends for an unlucky run in the Melbourne Cup.

The Luca Cumani-trained gelding has been handed stall five in the Group One at Tokyo, as he drops back to a mile and a half following his fifth place in two-mile showpiece in Flemington.

"The draw is very good news," the horse's owner Dr Marwan Koukash told At The Races.

"I was a bit disappointed we didn't win the Melbourne Cup, but when you look back at the race you have to consider him the unluckiest loser that day. The way he finished the race you could say he was the best horse in the race and we got an invite to go for the Japan Cup.

"He's in great shape. Stepping him back to a mile and a half is the only doubt we have, but he showed enough speed in the last four furlongs to challenge any mile and a half horse. We have no problem with that. We are just absolutely delighted to be taking part."

The other British challengers have also fared quite well in the barrier draw with Roger Varian's Sri Putra in stall two, Ed Dunlop's Red Cadeaux in six and Marco Botti's Jakkalberry, who was third in Melbourne, coming out of stall 11.

The home-based Orfevre has fared less favourably, being out widest of all in stall 17 while French raider Solemia, who collared him close home to land the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe last month, goes from stall 14.

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