Reigning Melbourne Cup winner Dunaden has been confirmed as a title defender in the ‘race that stops a nation’ this spring with connections also stating the quality stayer would contest the other spring cup – the Caulfield Cup 2012.
Last Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival Nicobar stallion Dunaden, trained by Mikel Delzangles, became the second straight French-trained stayer to take out the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) following the success of Americain in 2010.
Dunaden won the Melbourne Cup at just their second start down under having earlier taken out the Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m) in their Aussie debut, as Americain did the year before.
The seven-year-old has raced five times since adding their name to the Melbourne Cup winners list, their best result being a win in the Hong Kong Vase 40 days later.
Delzangles is pressing onto Melbourne with Dunaden despite their disappointing last start sixth to Dandream in the Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2414m) at Ascot on July 21.
Originally the horse was being considered for the famous Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at home on the first Sunday in October, but plans to contest the one and a half mile classic at Longchamp have since been scrapped with the news the world’s best racehorse Frankel was being considered for the Arc.
“The possibility of Frankel going for the Arc has put a different slant on things,” owner Sheikh Fahad’s racing manager David Redvers said.
It isn’t only Flemington Race 7 on Tuesday November 6 on the agenda for Dunaden on their return trip to Oz however, with the $2.5 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 20 also on the agenda.
“Pleased to announce to his legion of fans down under that a decision has been made to send Dunaden down to defend his Crown via Caulfield,” Redvers confirmed on Twitter this week.
“I hope Dunaden would be extremely competitive in the Melbourne Cup,” he added when speaking to Racing Post.
Caulfield Cup betting markets at bookmaker.com.au are currently led by Green Moon ($14) with Dunaden occupying the third line at a quote of $21.
Melbourne Cup odds meanwhile have Luca Cumani’s in-form English raider Mount Athos ($15) as the favourite while Dunaden, who will be ridden by ace Aussie hoop Craig Williams during his time down under, is currently paying $21 equal with Americain.
Williams was aboard Dunaden for the Geelong Cup victory but missed out on the winning Melbourne Cup ride, which would have seen the star jockey become the first to secure the winning Caulfield Cup – Cox Plate – Melbourne Cup triple in a single season, due to suspension.
He made the trip to Hong Kong for Dunaden’s Vase win however and was also in the saddle for their most recent effort in Britain.
Full Melbourne Cup markets and futures betting for the other Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival Group 1’s can be found online now at bookmaker.com.au where all the horse racing markets are 100 percent transparent with market movers and fluctuations listed to help you pick the winner!