Mount Athos passes the post nine lenghts clearPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Easy for Mount Athos as favourite Tennessee flops
Report: Chester, Friday
Boodles Diamond Ormonde Stakes (Group 3) 4yo+, 1m5½f
MOUNT ATHOS turned this Group 3 into a procession as he made all in the hands of Jamie Spencer to run out a wide-margin winner from the jumper Mad Moose at odds of 11-8.
The favourite Memphis Tennessee, bidding for back-to-back wins, was very disappointing and finished tailed off.
The six-year-old, last seen when suffering a luckless run in the Melbourne Gold Cup, will again have the world's richest handicap in November as his main objective this season. Paddy Power cut him to 10-1 from 14-1.
"All eyes are on Melbourne again," said Cumani, "and he will probably have two or three runs in between, but we won't abuse him, as he is the type who always puts a lot into his races.
"Today was his first major objective, as Marwan [Koukash] loves Chester. Now that job's done, we can concentrate on the second target."
Mount Athos has entries in the Hardwicke Stakes and Ascot Gold Cup, for which he was cut to 5-1 favourite from 8-1 by Boylesports, but Cumani said: "We will probably stick to Group 2s and 3s for the time being, and I'd be thinking more in terms of the Hardwicke if he went to Ascot."
Sent straight into the lead in the Chester Group 3, Mount Athos was chased early by the favourite, Memphis Tennessee, but Aidan O'Brien's five-year-old was one of the first to come under pressure and finished tailed off.
It was left to the nine-year-old jumper Mad Moose, winner of his only Flat start in a Doncaster maiden, to give vain chase up the home straight. Although beaten a long way, it was a fine effort for a jumpr who has tried his luck on the Flat so late in life.