Last year’s Melbourne Cup runner-up Red Cadeaux finally earned their own Group 1 winning stripes when they beat home a crack field of stayers in the 2012 Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin Racecourse earning talks of another campaign down under targeting the Melbourne Cup 2013.
Coming off a disappointing eighth in the Grade 1 Japan Cup (2413m) in Tokyo, Ed Dunlop’s Cadeaux Genereux six-year-old held on by the narrowest of margins in Sunday’s HK$15 million Group 1 The Longines Hong Kong Vase (2400m) to take out the classic by a short half-head.
In a traffic jam on the line just the bob of the head separated the Hong Kong Vase first four, the Gerald Mosse-ridden English raider Red Cadeaux getting there in the end just ahead of Japan’s evergreen visitor Jaguar Mail with Maxime Guyon and Liberator finishing third and fourth respectively.
Red Cadeaux has now won seven of their 31 career starts with other highlights including their third to Duncan in the 2011 Irish St Leger and second when going down to Dunaden in the closest Melbourne Cup finish in history that same year.
They also finished a brave third to Dunaden again next start last summer when crossing one and a quarter lengths off them in the Hong Kong Vase adding extra sweetness to their win in the same race this year.
As for the defending Hong Kong Vase champ Duanden, Mikel Delzangles’ Nicobar stallion could only manage to finish just over a length away fifth to Red Cadeaux pulling up a “bit flat” according to jockey Craig Williams.
Connections of Red Cadeaux, who ran eighth in this year’s Melbourne Cup run at an unsuitably modest pace, are now considering a third trip to Victoria next spring carnival where the world’s richest handicap would again be on the agenda.
“We might try Melbourne again. It would be nice to win the Cup after going so close two years ago,” owner Ronald Arculli said.
Trainer Dunlop meanwhile was thrilled to see Red Cadeaux finally score an elusive Group 1 win labeling the horse the deserved winner.
“He deserved this win – three pixels in the Melbourne Cup last year, no pace in the Melbourne Cup this year and he got struck into in the Japan Cup and we should have finished sixth; he was the leading European horse there. It’s a fantastic day for everyone,” Dunlop said.
“At the 200m mark I thought we were going to get beaten by Jaguar Mail but Gerald gave him a great ride and he was in the right place. The horse battled very hard today.
“This is our third victory here and winning races like this is what it’s all about for me.
“We’ve been lucky to have great owners and great horses to come here. To win three races, Ouija Board (Vase 2005), Snow Fairy (Cup 2010) and now Red Cadeaux.”
Also naming the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on Tuesday November 5 next year as one of the big targets on Red Cadeaux’s radar, Dunlop also hinted at a trip to Dubai for the Sheema Classic.
“I’m pinching myself to think he’s now won a Group 1 over a mile and half,” Dunlop said
“He’s come through the handicap system and he gets better and better – he’s a really tough horse.
“I hope the Melbourne Cup handicapper isn’t listening to this!
“We may consider Dubai next as an option, there’s the staying race there now but we’ll probably look at the Sheema Classic.”
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