AMERICAIN is sporting battle scars following his gallant third in the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Vase (2400m) but the lacerations inflicted during the run will not jeopardise his racing future.

BRENT ZERAFA reports in the SYDNEY TELEGRAPH that owner Gerry Ryan yesterday rejected claims that his Melbourne Cup winner's racing career may be in doubt after being injured when third to Mastery at Sha Tin on Sunday night.

"He is a little sore, he got galloped on behind and received some quite deep cuts but he is going to be OK," Ryan said of Americain.

"Unfortunately when the pace of the race slackened off, the horses in behind him got on his heels.

"It can happen in racing.

"He is going back to Chantilly as planned for a spell but because he is such a robust horse he will stay in the stable environment, he doesn't go to the paddock. All is still well with plans for him to defend his Melbourne Cup crown next year."

Trainer Alain de Royer Dupre hinted that Americain was likely to be set for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (October) before returning to Australia for the Melbourne Cup.Americain was heavily backed to win the Hong Kong Vase and started $2.10 favourite on the HKJC tote.

Jockey Gerald Mosse was forced to race three wide when the speed of the race dropped significantly before Americain finished strongly for third behind the Frankie Dettori-ridden Mastery.

"I pushed him early on to avoid being outpaced but he does not have the turn of foot to catch these horses," Mosse said. "He probably will gain in speed with time and should prevail under more testing conditions.

"He gave me everything he had and tried so hard. He's a wonderful horse."