English horseman Ed Dunlop is continuing 2015 Melbourne Cup preparations for two of his top stayers in veteran galloper and regular Victorian visitor Red Cadeaux and stablemate Trip To Paris.
A rising 10-year-old, Cadeaux Genereux gelding Red Cadeaux’s next start in the Group 3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes (2671m) on August 15 at Newbury Racecourse will determine whether the old warhorse has his fifth appearance in the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m).
Red Cadeaux has run in the past four consecutive Melbourne Cups, run at Flemington Racecourse on the first Tuesday of November each year, and has finished second in an historic three editions of the ‘race that stops a nation’.
He was runner-up in 2011 (Dunaden), 2013 (Fiorente) and 2014 (Protectionist) with an eighth to Green Moon in 2012.
In his last appearance down under Red Cadeaux finished second to Criterion in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Sydney’s Royal Randwick back in April.
His form of late however has been far from impressive including a dead last when seventh behind Snow Sky in the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes (2414m) at Royal Ascot last month.
Dunlop believes the galloper, who has developed a cult like following down under over the past half a decade with a barn at the Werribee quarantine facility named after him, can improve and that conditions at Ascot didn’t suit.
“The ground was too firm for him at Ascot,” he told PAA.
“He is very fresh and still looks like he has got all his old enthusiasm.”
Having a short freshen-up, Red Cadeaux will return in the Geoffrey Freer and from there a decision will be made on a Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival bid.
He currently pays $34 in the all-in Melbourne Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au that have Japan’s Fame Game as the short $13 top fancy.
The fellow Dunlop-trained raider Trip To Paris meanwhile is at a shorter $26 quote in futures Melbourne Cup betting following a string of top runs over the past few months.
The four-year-old son of Champs Elysees has won four of his past five starts going back to April, the most recent of which was the Group 1 Ascot Gold Cup (4023m) on June 18, proving a great story for the stable and connections of the progressive stayer.
“The story is not about me, it’s about a STG20,000 ($A41,959) breeze-up purchase that wins Ascot’s coveted prize,” Dunlop said.
“It means that it’s possible for every owner and that I think is really the story.”
He will go via a different path into the world’s richest handicap with Dunlop confirming his next start as the Group 2 Goodwood Cup (3219m) at Goodwood Racecourse on July 30, a two mile clash with a nice history of producing Melbourne Cup performers.
On Tuesday morning Trip To Paris impressed Dunlop in a piece of trackwork showing he was on course for a big next-up run and hopefully a trip down under.
“He worked this morning and I was very happy with the way he went. All went well,” Dunlop said.
“We’ll aim him towards the Goodwood Cup, with all the usual caveats, but we’re more than happy.”
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