The Ed Dunlop-trained Red Cadeaux is the latest European horse to be set on a Melbourne Cup campaign after the five-year-old scored an emphatic win at The Curragh last weekend.
Connections of five-year-old Cadeaux Genereux gelding Red Cadeaux were quick to name the iconic $6 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington this November as a possible target after the improving galloper easily defeated a crack field in the Group 3 At The Races Curragh Cup (2816m) on June 25.
After tracking the leaders having settled well in fourth position, Red Cadeaux and jockey Tom McLaughlin challenged the frontrunners on the straight before hitting the lead, drawing clear and getting to the line nine lengths clear of their closest rival Zerashan.
“I thought he was enormously impressive,” his trainer Dunlop said.
“He stays well and handled the ground well.”
The victory was the Newmarket-based stayer’s second black-type success this preparation having earlier saluted in a Listed feature last month at Hamilton.
The Melbourne Cup is now a very real possibility for Red Cadeaux, who has also proven their ability over a testing 3621m when running second last September carting a hefty 61kg.
“The owner (of Red Cadeaux) is based in Hong Kong,” Dunlop said.
“We’ve discussed things like the Melbourne Cup, and we might consider the Irish Leger on this type of ground.
“He’s adaptable, from a mile and a half to two miles.”
This year’s Melbourne Cup is set to attract the largest and most impressive international contingent in recent years, with astute international recruiter Leigh Jordan jetting off to Europe next week with visits to France and Ireland to hopefully strengthen the presence of overseas raiders in other big spring showdowns including the Cox Plate.
With the aim of enticing the connections of the some of the world’s best thoroughbreds, Jordan is convinced that this year’s spring racing series in Victoria will be recognised globally as a leading thoroughbred carnival.
“The Melbourne spring carnival has the chance to elevate its standing on the international circuit by attracting multiple runners from around the world to compete in our many Group One races throughout the spring carnival,” Jordan said.
“If we achieve this goal it puts our spring carnival on the same platform as the Dubai racing festival.
“The Melbourne spring carnival is breaking new frontiers every year, and it would be great to have some high-profile European trainers embrace the carnival for the first time like Jeremy Noseda, William Haggas and Barry Hills.”
Haggas has a possible Melbourne Cup campaigner in Harris Tweed.
Last start the horse ran an eye-catching second behind the Aidan O’Brien-trained Await The Dawn in the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes (2414m) at Royal Ascot earning them a tilt at Melbourne Cup glory along with third placegetter, Luca Cumani’s Drunken Sailor.
Meanwhile, fellow European trainer Hills also uncovered a genuine Melbourne Cup prospect in Redwood.
High Chaparral five-year-old Redwood is a multiple Group 1 performer having finished second to Mastery in the Group 1 Hong Kong Vase (2400m) at Sha Tin last December before their most recent effort when runner-up to Rewilding in the Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic (2423m) in March.
“A great challenge of my job is to entice one of the world’s leading trainers, like Aidan O’Brien, back to Australia so he can achieve a Group One success here at our own carnival.”
Jordan is armed with the Patinack Farm Classic $600,000 incentive bonus as he heads to Ireland and France, a factor he believes will help sway some of the top international trainers and owners to head down under this spring.
“It would be great to secure a horse like Delegator, owned by Godolphin, to compete in the Patinack,” he said.
Run on Emirates Stakes Day at Flemington, the $1 million Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) is already shaping up as one of the most scintillating spring sprints with the likes of defending champion Black Caviar and Singapore speedster Rocket Man named as likely contenders.