Ed Dunlop’s three-time Melbourne Cup runner-up Red Cadeaux has secured a fifth attempt at Melbourne Cup glory down under this spring with a brave third in the Geoffrey Freer Stakes over the weekend at Newbury Racecourse.
The Group 3 Betfred Geoffrey Freer Stakes (2671m) was won by Agent Murphy who had tidy five length margin to spare on the line over Windshear while Red Cadeaux crossed for third in an improved run off his dead last (seventh) in June’s Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes (2414m) at Ascot.
It has been a long time between drinks for Dunlop’s Cadeaux Genereux nine-year-old who hasn’t won a race since December of 2012 when defeating Japan’s Jaguar Mail in the Group 1 Hong Kong Vase (2400m).
Red Cadeaux has been more than competitive in a host of his runs since then however including his four runs in the world’s richest handicap – the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cupp (3200m) at Flemington Racecourse on the first Tuesday of November.
His maiden run in the ‘race that stops a nation’ was in 2011 when second to French raider Duanden in the closest Melbourne Cup result in history.
The galloper’s other Melbourne Cup runs were an eighth to Green Moon in 2012, second to the Gai Waterhouse-trained Fiorente in 2013 and his second to then German-trained Protectionist last Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
Dunlop also bought the horse down under during the autumn at the start of this year and Red Cadeaux ran fifth to Spillway in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington and then second as a 20/1 shot behind Criterion in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick in Sydney.
Now it is all systems go for a fifth Melbourne Cup bid over the two miles at Victoria’s premier track for the evergreen warhorse who pleased connections with his third to the 2015 Irish St Leger-bound Agent Murphy in the Geoffrey Freer.
“We’re over the moon with his run. He’s not 100 per cent race fit and that ground just found him out,” Dunlop’s travelling head groomer Robin Trevor-Jones told the Racing Post.
“Two furlongs out (jockey) George (Baker) said he thought he would win he was going so well, but he just got tired.
“It would have been perfect if he had won but we’ve not shown our hand again to the Australian handicapper, who might be a bit more lenient now.
“We’ll take him back to Chelmsford for a gallop around and then put him in quarantine in Newmarket in September before going back Down Under.”
Red Cadeaux ran fourth to Seismos in last year’s Freer Stakes before his Melbourne Cup second, and Dunlop is hoping he can go one better and finally finish first in the Flemington classic.
Futures Melbourne Cup odds are already out online at Ladbrokes.com.au with the Japanese-trained Fame Game ($11) the clear pre-nomination favourite.
Red Cadeaux can be found further down the all-in Melbourne Cup betting markets at a current quote of $34.
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