Caulfield Cup Winner Dunaden on Track for 2012 Melbourne Cup Defense

Sensational Caulfield Cup 2012 winner Duanden looks on track to break more records in Victoria this spring, the thriving French raider out to complete not only the season’s coveted cups double but to also become the sixth multiple Melbourne Cup champ in history.


2012 Caulfield Cup winner Dunaden is awaiting a penalty heading towards the Melbourne Cup

Mikel Delzangles’ outstanding galloper produced a faultless performance to take out this year’s $2.5 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 20, a win that must also be credited to one of the best rides ever from last year’s Caulfield Cup winning hoop Craig Williams.

It was an effort that also must be appreciated as Dunaden missed the kick, had a horror draw (18 of 18) and the 58kg top-weight and was still able to become the first original Caulfield Cup top-weight to take out the classic since it was first run in 1879.

The only other horses to carry 58kg to victory in the Caulfield Cup over the past 45 were Gay Icarus (1971), Ming Dynasty (1980) and Northerly (2002).

He also became just the second horse in the past five decades along with Bart Cummings-trained Viewed (2009) to win the Melbourne Cup and then return the next year to win the Caulfield Cup.

This year’s Caulfield Cup was a fabulous line-up and now the international beasts that ran in it are booked to dominate the other spring cup, the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington Racecourse on Tuesday November 6.

Twelve months ago Duanden scored victory in the closest Melbourne Cup result ever when just getting the better of fellow overseas raider Red Cadeaux.

Having conquered Caulfield and retained their undefeated status in Australia the Nicobar seven-year-old is now primed for their 2012 Melbourne Cup title defense.

Eleven horses have achieved the Caulfield – Melbourne Cups double in a single season the most recent of which was Ethereal (2001).

While the form is there for Dunaden to go back-to-back in the Melbourne Cup there is one thing connections will be sweating on – their weight penalty.

“He’s a racehorse not an airplane…he shouldn’t get a penalty,” stable spokesman Geoffrey Faber said after the Caulfield Cup win.

“Besides he didn’t win by that far, did he?”

They are already allocated equal 58kg top-weight for the 2012 Melbourne Cup along with 2010 champion Americain, who ran an eye-catching fourth with the same weight in this weekend’s Caulfield Cup, with more kilos likely to come.

Northerly, who won the 2002 Caulfield Cup with 58kg, was allocated a 2kg weight penalty going onto that year’s Melbourne Cup which ruled them out in the minds of their connections who opted not to run them.

Racing Victoria’s chief handicapper Greg Carpenter is set to announce Dunaden’s penalty at 11:30am (AEST) on Monday.

Since their Caulfield Cup success Dunaden has come right in at bookies around the country to lead the Melbourne Cup betting markets at a quote of around $6.

Americain is the other big market mover in the Melbourne Cup odds into $8, both horses at double-figures prior to the Caulfield Cup results.

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