Newmarket’s Ed Dunlop has said that if all goes well with veteran stayer Red Cadeaux this season the dual Melbourne Cup runner-up will be there on Melbourne Cup Day 2014 for a fourth shot at the ‘race that stops a nation’.
The Cadeaux Genereux gelding runs first-up this weekend in the Geoffrey Freer Stakes (2670m) at Newbury kicking off a campaign that could again result in a Flemington appearance on the first Tuesday of November.
Having travelled around the world multiple times winning connections over $6.2 million in prizemoney, Dunlop said the horse owed them nothing and that they would be looking after the stayer’s interests above all else.
“Saturday’s race is important but he owes us nothing,” he told The Sydney Morning Herald this week.
“He’s taken us around the world four times and brought millions of dollars home.”
Now in their nine-year-old season the chestnut gelding hasn’t raced since early May when a disappointing 14th behind Fenomeno in the Grade 1 Tenno Sho Spring (3218m) at Kyoto in Japan that Dunlop is happy to forgive and forget.
“He’s won £4 million ($6.2 million) in prizemoney and more than half of it has been won outside of England,” Dunlop said.
“I’m looking at him now; he looks great, and of course you can’t take a line through his trip to Japan because he just resented those hard tracks – they were like roads.”
That was one of only a handful of below par runs from the seven time winner who is best known not for the races he has won but for the one race he has twice finished second in – the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m).
“He went to Dubai and brought home $2 million [when second in the $A10 million World Cup], and his two seconds in Melbourne cups netted a lot of money,” Dunlop said.
On the back of an Irish St Leger third back in 2011 Red Cadeaux made their first appearance down under that Melbourne Cup Carnival three years back.
Debuting on Aussie soil in the Melbourne Cup he jumped as a 30-1 outsider but put in the performance of a lifetime when beaten by the narrowest of margins by French-trained raider Dunaden.
It was the closest photo finish Melbourne Cup result in history and one that certainly gave connections of the runner-up a heart stopping few minutes as stewards decided the official placings.
A third in the Hong Kong Vase followed 40 days later and plenty more nice runs over the following year before he returned to run a luckless eight to Green Moon in the 2012 Melbourne Cup.
Winner of the Hong Kong Vase that year atoning for their placing the year before, Red Cadeaux continued to perform at the highest level from everywhere from Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan to back home in Britain and Ireland.
History was then made when the horse was back for last year’s Melbourne Cup.
Jumping at 60-1 he achieved what few had done before him, running second in the world’s richest handicap for a second time in non-consecutive years this time beaten only three quarters of a length by Gai Waterhouse’s Fiorente.
While hesitant to confirm a fourth Melbourne Cup bid 100% due to his horse’s age, Dunlop would love to see Red Cadeaux back to defy the odds once more.
“The owner is committed, the trainer is committed and we’ve got [jockey] Gerald Mosse flying in and excited, so we’re just going to wait and see, but we are in a good space,” he said.
“And yes, he [Red Cadeaux] does have a great attitude to travel – he thrives on it.”
Exactly how the garlanded galloper is travelling will be better known after Saturday’s English return Dunlop said.
“He’s back from a very nice, long holiday, and this weekend what he does at the races will help us make up our minds about his short-term future,” he added.
“His work here at home has been good and he’s showing all those signs of enjoying his racing, so if everything comes together we’ll be there on Melbourne Cup Day.”
Current Melbourne Cup futures betting is led by Japanese stayer Bande after their 2600m win on August 10 and Waterhouse’s Sydney Cup champ The Offer both at $15 through Ladbrokes.com.au.
Red Cadeaux can then be found further down the odds at $41, a fair price according to Dunlop who knows just how hard it will be for any horse to win what is shaping up as one of the best editions of the Melbourne Cup this year.
“I’m coming from a situation of being beaten in two close finishes,” he said.
“And I think he’s a horse that has amazing resilience and enjoys being on the road travelling the world.
“Let’s hope he’s still in that frame of mind later this year.
“Saturday’s Group race won’t be easy, but we really can’t get a handle on it until we go through the form and see what we are up against.”
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