Ed Dunlop is confident Red Cadeaux can shake his Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup “bridesmaid” tag on Tuesday and deliver his first win in the race, following three unsuccessful tries since 2011.
The British stayer finished runner-up in the $6.2 million feature race in both 2011 and 2013, bookending an unplaced run in 2012. This year could perhaps be his biggest struggle, since he’s running as a nine-year-old and aiming to become the first winner of that age.
However, Dunlop has declared the horse is “in very good nick” as he prepares for his fourth successive Melbourne Cup tilt.
He finished dead last in the Group 3 September Stakes (2400m) last time out, but the gelding is known to save his best for the Emirates Melbourne Cup, so Dunlop isn’t concerned. He advised punters to “put a line through” the run, considering he also ran clunky in Ireland before coming second to Fiorente in 2013.
Red Cadeaux is a $19 shot in the Melbourne Cup betting market at Ladbrokes.com.au. He got given a boost when drawn to start in barrier 15, the same gate he started from in 2011 when he finished just a nose behind Dunden.
Dunlop is happy with the draw, noting it’s not too wide and not too close to the inside track.
“I’m happy with the draw, I think we can do anything from there,” he told TVN.
“All I want is a normal race where the pace is genuine. I don’t want a trot-around. If that happens anything can win.”
Dunlop was clear that winning his first Melbourne Cup on Tuesday would be his “greatest victory” as a trainer. Given this year’s field is not as strong as some of the previous renewals contested by Red Cadeaux, it could easily be his year.
“I think it’s an open race,” Dunlop said.
“The horse (Signoff) that won yesterday that’s down in the weights was impressive, but whether that form is strong is questionable.”
Is the 2014 Melbourne Cup finally Red Cadeaux’s chance at success? Marco Botti is tipping him to win if Seismos can’t bring it home.
“He knows the track, he’s a tough horse. If we don’t win, I hope Red Cadeaux wins,” the UK trainer said.
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