The new season campaign of 2011 Melbourne Cup runner-up Red Cadeaux is likely to kick off in Ascot next week before the Ed Dunlop-trained English stayer travels down under for their third shot at the ‘race that stops a nation’.
Two years ago the Cadeaux Genereux gelding featured in their maiden Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival and was one of the most talked about horses on the planet after that year’s Melbourne Cup result.
Coming off a nice third to Duncan in that year’s Group 1 Irish St Leger (2816m) at The Curragh when carrying 62kg, Red Cadeaux flew under the radar in the markets for the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on the first Tuesday of November.
They went into the world’s richest handicap as a $30 outsider but caused a massive stir when relishing the drop back to just 53.5kg coming within a short half-head of victory when second to the French-trained Dunaden in the closest Melbourne Cup finish in history.
Red Cadeaux went on to run third to the Melbourne Cup winner next start in the Group 1 Hong Kong Vase (2400m) before returning last May in the UK for another stellar season.
That next campaign they recorded five top three finishes from as many starts, all at Group level, earning a trip back to Oz for a second Melbourne Cup bid.
It wasn’t to be in 2012 for the horse however as Red Cadeaux could only manage to finish six lengths away eight to Green Moon after jumping from barrier 18 of 24.
Their next run was also below par, eight in the Japan Cup, but they atoned in December at Sha Tin with a tight win in the Group 1 Hong Kong Vase (2400m).
This year they’ve had four runs, their opening two both Group 1 placings in Asia, their latest two disappointing efforts.
Last seen finishing 15 lengths away ninth to possible 2013 Cox Plate contender Al Kazeem in the Group 1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes (2011m) at Royal Ascot on June 19, connections are confident Red Cadeaux will have improvement in them as they go up in distance.
They will likely get that extra distance next start in another Ascot run before it’s all systems go for Victoria and the Melbourne Cup 2013.
Connections are looking at the Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (2400m) on July 27, Saturday week, for Red Cadeaux but Dunlop just wants to see what the ground conditions are doing with the heat wave in the UK.
“Red Cadeaux is working really well and is in great form,” Dunlop said this week.
“We want to run in the King George but it will be ground dependent as we wouldn’t want it too firm. We will make a decision next week.”
Aussie bookies don’t really rate the recent form of Red Cadeaux meanwhile and have him rated a $26 chance in their latest Melbourne Cup odds equal with the likes of Hawkspur, Jet Away and Royal Descent.
Markets are led by Puissance De Lune ($9).
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