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Americain's defence of the Melbourne Cup makes him the benchmark horse for tomorrow's running of the great race.
As the favourite and the topweight, the French stayer is a logical choice, but winning the cup two years in a row has always been a difficult task and how he stacks up against other historical aspects of the race also have be taken into account.
Only five horses have won the cup two or more times.
The great Makybe Diva won it three years in a row from 2003 to 2005 but the only other horses to win in successive years were the first ever winner Archer (1861-62), Rain Lover (1968-69) and Think Big (1974-75), while Peter Pan won in split years (1932 and 1934).
Americain will carry the prestigious number one as the topweight and since saddlecloths were first recorded in 1877, it has won 10 cups, second only to number four, (Drunken Sailor) and number 12 (Red Cadeaux) with 11 wins each.
Lucas Cranach has drawn gate 11, the same barrier Americain won from last year, and which has won a record eight cups since barriers were first allocated in 1924 and six since starting stalls as we know them, were first used in 1958.
The bogey barrier is 18 (Hawk Island) which is winless.
Liking a horse's name has been a popular way for many to make their cup selection and clearly horses starting with the initial "T" (The Verminator and Tullamore) have had the edge in the cup with 16 wins.
Four and five-year-olds share a record 43 cups each but the recent trend has been towards the more seasoned stayer.
While six-year-olds have only won 29 cups, six have been in the past 13 years while two of 10 seven-year-old winners figure in the same period.
Looking at the jockeys, and it is best to choose those with plain-bodied silks (56 wins) such as Jukebox Jury, Fox Hunt, Illo, Lost In the Moment, Modun, At First Sight and Shamrocker.
It is best to follow in-form horses as 20 of the 30 winners have won or placed at their last start.
Americain would be the 27th outright favourite to win the cup while seven equal favourites have won but horses at $9 and $11 have been the most successful with 12 and 14 wins respectively.
Horses at $5 and $17 (11 wins each) and $6 (10 wins) also have good records while there have been 16 winners at $31 or longer. *Prediction: *Illo from Fox Hunt, Tullamore, and Shamrocker.
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