Star French galloper and reigning Melbourne Cup winner Dunaden is in doubt of running in next month’s Caulfield Cup 2012 with the Mikel Delzangles-trained champ suffering from a foot abscess.
Originally the seven-year-old Nicobar stallion, who went back-to-back for France with their heart-stoppingly close Melbourne Cup triumph last spring, was to return to Oz this season and shoot for the coveted spring cups double.
They are now in danger of missing the opening leg however, the $2.65 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 20 just a month away.
Dunaden hasn’t raced since their sixth, when carrying a hefty 60.5kg with ace Aussie hoop Craig Williams aboard, to Danedream in the Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2414m) at Ascot in Britain back on July 21.
They are now racing against the clock to get fit for another Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival assault with their recent work being only light since they developed a foot abscess about two weeks ago.
They gallop at England’s Newmarket Racecourse this week before flying to Melbourne on Friday arriving on Aussie shores Saturday along with 16 other internationals including 2012 Melbourne Cup champ Americain and current Melbourne Cup betting favourite Mount Athos from the Luca Cumani stables.
Dunaden is the 58kg equal topweight for the Caulfield Cup along with the Alain de Royer Dupre-prepared Americain, and is rated $17 third favourite in the Caulfield Cup odds at bookmaker.com.au that are led by the Lloyd Williams-owned Green Moon ($14).
Connections remain hopeful they will make a full recovery in time for the Caulfield Cup which is a crucial lead-up to their title defense in the ‘race that stops a nation’, the $6.2 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on Tuesday November 6.
If Dunaden is ruled out of the Caulfield Cup it would free Williams up to ride top mare Southern Speed who won the race 12 months ago with the leading hoop in the saddle, or last-start Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes runner-up Green Moon.
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