Michael Cox



Americain more than just a Melbourne Cup hero to Mosse

Gerald Mosse reflects on his partnership with Americain, the 2010 Melbourne Cup winner, who died this week aged 17.

Americain may have been the horse that made Gerald Mosse famous in Australia but the Frenchman says he would have had a special place in his heart for the horse whether or not he had won a Melbourne Cup on him.

The veteran jockey paid tribute to his 2010 Cup winner after receiving the news that Americain had died in a paddock accident, aged 17, in Australia this week. 

“Actually, it is not because he is a Melbourne Cup winner that I will remember him so fondly,” Mosse told Asian Racing Report as he drove to the second day at Royal Ascot. 

“Number one; I remember him because he had absolutely beautiful shape, he was a magnificent animal, but he also had impeccable temperament. He was the most beautiful horse you could ride. He was just all muscle but still full of such good character and kindness.”


Gerald Mosse celebrates his Melbourne Cup win on Americain in 2010. (Photo by Robert Prezioso/Getty Images)

Americain was a gentle giant – an entire that stood close to 17 hands – but Mosse said it was the horse’s racing manners that set him apart.

“He isn’t the best horse I have ridden, but maybe he was the one I enjoyed riding most,” he said. “Even if he seemed to be double the size of the other horses he was really gentle, especially for a stallion. He had perfect balance, was light on the mouth and you could do what you wanted to in a race, he was an absolute delight to ride.”

“That being said, he did not like being really tight in a race, he would enjoy getting galloping room,” Mosse added. “Even if the Australian stewards thought I rode him a bit too wide.”

Mosse was referring, specifically, to the 2012 Tancred Stakes at Rosehill when, as a short-priced favourite in a small field, the mercurial rider sat three-deep facing the breeze. He was beaten into second, earning jeers from the crowd and a stinging rebuke from stipes, and then a blast in the media from a part-owner.

“He will never ride the horse again. It was a dismal effort,” part-owner Kevin Bamford was quoted post-race.

Mosse proved Bamford wrong and was back aboard the horse in the spring, but more controversy was ahead. After finishing fourth in the 2012 Caulfield Cup, Mosse was driving to the airport in France to fly to Australia to ride the now seven-year-old in a third straight Melbourne Cup (he was fourth on the horse as favourite in the 2011 Melbourne Cup).

“Everything was booked and arranged – flights, hotels and transport – but I lost the ride to Damien Oliver. So I made a U-turn and I went home. They asked me to ride the horse on the rail, I said I would not, and that was it. Ollie, who is a good friend of mine, rode him inside of horses in the Melbourne Cup and he got knocked around and could not make his run,” he said.



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