For the second year in a row a French-trained raider has won the Geelong Cup as the top-weight of the race at their first start on Australian soil, Mikel Delzangle’s Dunaden following in the hoofsteps of reigning Melbourne Cup hero Americain by taking out the 2011 Geelong Cup in a significant result.
Already assured of a start in the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) on the first Tuesday of November at Flemington, Nicobar six-year-old Dunaden further staked their claims to win the world’s richest handicap with their authoritative victory in the $225,00 Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m) on Wednesday.
In a beautifully timed ride by big race specialist Craig Williams, who only days ago scored his maiden Caulfield Cup victory with Southern Speed, Dunaden held their run off until late but produced a powerful finish on the straight to run down the favourite Tanby and emerge the Geelong Cup winner.
Robert Hickmott’s last-start Herbert Power Stakes runner-up Tanby was given every chance of success, the $3.10 favourite at Luxbet settling well in a lovely position fourth behind frontrunners Rebel Soldier and I’m Jake.
Approaching the turn for home Tanby moved up and eventually hit the front, but Dunaden made up a stack of ground and in a magnificent run raced to the front and found the line three-quarters of a length ahead of Tanby.
Finishing off the 2011 Geelong Cup trifecta was Luca Cumani’s gallant old grey and former Geelong Cup winner (2008) Bauer who moved up late in a huge effort to come from worse than midfield into third a further three-quarters of a length away.
2012 Melbourne Cup Odds
Futures all-in betting showing top 24 horses.
It was a brilliant staying performance from Dunaden who has now developed into a genuine 2011 Melbourne Cup hope, rocketing up the Luxbet markets for the famous Flemington handicap.
“It was the perfect run,” Geoffrey Fabre, representing Dunaden’s connections, said after the win.
“It’s been four or five months in the making and the idea was always to come here fit and run in the Geelong Cup and then straight into it (the Melbourne Cup) in two weeks.
“Class won him today, not fitness.”
Fabre went on to suggest that Dunaden would be even more competitive once at Flemington and also expressed some concerns regarding the Melbourne Cup weight penalty they could receive for winning the Geelong Cup.
“That is a worry (the penalty),” he said, Dunaden currently allocated 54kg in the Melbourne Cup weights.
“They shouldn’t be too harsh on him I wouldn’t think.
“He’ll be far better suited to Flemington and the two miles, which is his best distance, so we couldn’t be happier really.
“(Today) is definitely a bonus win.”
Williams, who said he would be happy to ride Duanden in the Melbourne Cup 2011 after what the horse showed him today, also suggested that over more distance at Flemington the French galloper would be a red hot chance.
“The way he went I’m pretty happy on him (in the Melbourne Cup),” Williams said.
“His best distance is 3000 metres and above.”
There were arguments that the 2011 Geelong Cup, which attracted one of its smallest fields in recent years, was below par this year but Williams said it would still be a great Melbourne Cup form guide.
“It’s certainly not as strong as it has been in other years,” Williams said.
“(But) he’s won and that’s all he has to do.”
Following the 2011 Geelong Cup results, Dunaden has been crunched in from $21 to the $10 second favourite behind Americain ($8) in the Melbourne Cup markets at Luxbet.
Geelong Cup third placegetter Bauer, who qualified for a Melbourne Cup bid with their placing, has also been slashed in their price in from $51 to $21.
Although qualified Bauer is still well down the Melbourne Cup ballot – up from 64th to 42nd – and needs to win a race such as the $250,000 Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day, just three days before the Melbourne Cup, to earn a ballot exemption into the ‘race that stops a nation’.
See the full 2011 Geelong Cup results and finishing order below, then check out the latest Melbourne Cup odds and markets at Luxbet.
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2011 Geelong Cup Finishing Order & Results
|1||1||DUNADEN (FR)||Mikel Delzangles||Craig Williams||–||8||58kg||$6|
|2||4||TANBY||Robert Hickmott||Steven King||0.75L||6||53kg||$3.10F|
|3||2||BAUER (IRE)||Luca Cumani||Damien Oliver||1.5L||9||56kg||$5.50|
|4||3||SHOWCAUSE||Frank Ritchie||Luke Nolen||1.9L||13||53.5kg||$13|
|5||13||PERFECT PECS||Rick Hore-Lacy||Dean Yendall||2L||7||53kg||$31|
|6||7||BACK IN BLACK (NZ)||John Steffert||Craig Newitt||2.3L||5||53kg||$31|
|7||8||SPECHENKA||Ben Ahrens||Michael Walker||3.05L||10||53kg (cd 53.5kg)||$31|
|8||6||I’M JAKE (NZ)||David Brideoake & David Feek||Dwayne Dunn||4.05L||1||53kg||$9|
|9||10||HUME (NZ)||David Brideoake & David Feek||Stephen Baster||4.8L||12||53kg||$41|
|10||11||RED EYE SPECIAL (NZ)||Anthony Cummings||Chris Symons||11.8L||2||53kg||$12|
|11||5||ABOVE AVERAGE (IRE)||Anthony Freedman||Ms Lisa Cropp||13.8L||11||53kg||$10|
|12||12||DIYARAKA (FR)||Michael Moroney||Kerrin McEvoy||14L||4||53kg||$101|
|FF||9||REBEL SOLDIER (IRE)||David Hayes||James Winks||–||3||53kg (cd 53.5kg)||$71|