Premier European trainer Ed Dunlop has confirmed plans to head down under this spring targeting the Melbourne Cup 2015 with his exciting stayer Trip To Paris should the galloper perform in this week’s Goodwood Cup.
The four-year-old son of Champs Elysees has won four of his past five starts, most recently saluting in the Group 1 Ascot Gold Cup (4023m) towards the end of June.
This Friday at 12:10am (AEST) he shoots for another win at England’s Glorious Goodwood contesting the coveted Group 2 Qatar Goodwood Cup (3219m), run over the same distance as the world’s richest handicap that is also on his agenda this year.
Dunlop named the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Victoria’s famous Flemington Racecourse on Tuesday November 3 as the Grand Final target for Trip To Paris should everything go to plan this prep.
Over the years Dunlop has saddled up a total of four Melbourne Cup starters and while he’s yet to win the ‘race that stops a nation’ he has prepared the runner-up on three occasions with history making galloper Red Cadeaux.
Veteran nine-year-old Red Cadeaux is also a possible Melbourne Cup contender this year, the champ having posted his third second in the two mile classic behind German raider Protectionist last year.
For this week’s Goodwood Cup, the form of which has held up extremely well with internationals making a subsequent appearance in the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival over recent years, Trip To Paris is the $4.50 favourite and market mover at Ladbrokes.com.au.
His trainer is full of pre-race praise over the horse’s condition and believes his ability to quicken as a stayer is a major part of why he is so dangerous over the longer distance features.
“Trip To Paris has been absolutely fine and dandy since Ascot,” Dunlop said according to PAA.
“We gave him a little break after the Gold Cup, then brought him back into work two and a half weeks ago and it’s all systems go.
“I have been surprised with his progress this year.
“I spoke to (jockey) Ryan Moore (who rode runner-up Kingfisher) after the Gold Cup and he said you need a stayer that can quicken and that is something he can do, having won over a mile and a half earlier this year.
“He does not look like a horse that has run six times in the last four months. He’s been very fresh in the mornings of late and certainly doesn’t look tired.
“I am not worried about the drop back in distance, although he will have to carry a Group One penalty, which makes it tougher. He is a very laid back horse.”
Trip To Paris is drawn in barrier 11 of 12 in the Goodwood Cup field with successful Irish jockey Graham Lee booked for the ride.
Lee has been aboard the Ascot Gold Cup winner for his four most recent runs and rides him on the 62.5kg top weight this weekend.
The next best in Goodwood Cup betting are then the Willie Mullins-trained warhorse Simenon ($6) coming off a fourth in the Gold Cup and who ran fourth in the 2013 Melbourne Cup, last start Northumberland Plate winner Quest For More ($6), and the rails-drawn Big Orange ($7) who scored an upset at Newmarket as a 25/1 chance last time out.
In the pre-nomination Melbourne Cup odds at Ladbrokes, Trip To Paris pays $26 for the win while Red Cadeaux is just further down the markets at $34.
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