Dunaden Makes History In The Melbourne Cup

Dunaden Makes History In The Melbourne Cup

Dunaden (on the far side in yellow silks) winning the 2011 Melbourne Cup - Image Sky News

History repeated as a French-trained Geelong Cup Winner captured Australia’s most famous race, the Aus$6 million Melbourne Cup for the second year in a row.

Dunaden created Cup history and he is trained by Mikel Delzangles. Dunaden started second favourite behind Americain on the strength of his effort at Geelong, where he made a long sweeping run from 650 meters to win in a scintilating finish.

Settling back in the running for fly-in jockey Christophe Lemaire and had six or so horses behind him for most of the running.

Still well back turning for home, he balanced up nicely at the top of the straight, getting clear with 350 meters to go and making up solid ground. It was not until 50 metres that he hit the lead and was immediately challenged by a gallant Red Cadeaux, with the duo locked together as they hit the line. Lucas Cranach was third, with last year’s winner Americain checking in a respectable fourth.

It was a nervous wait for all connections as the photograph took several minutes to analyse before a judgement was passed. The judge had to magnify it four times before finding the barest of margins between the two noses of the horses in a hard-fought struggle.

Neither jockey Lemaire or local Michael Rodd knew who had won, but once the result was finalised the former could not hide his joy. Not knowing he had a Cup ride until a phone call from Delzangles over the weekend, Lemaire flew into Melbourne after riding at the Tenno Sho meeting in Japan on Sunday.

Delzangles was also thrilled, as the win was the result of a long term plan first discussed in May by him and Dunaden’s owner, Qatar’s Sheikh Fahad al Thani.

A son of the Indian Ridge stallion Nicobar, a Group 2-winning miler in the United Kingdom and Italy, Dunaden is a heart-warming story – he cost just 1,500 Euros for his original owners – his pedigree hardly impressive with no stakes winners within four generations of his family.

Formerly trained by Richard Gibson, who is now in Hong Kong, the good-looking horse came into the Cup as the winner of just over $500,000 and left with an impressive stakes amassed of Aus$4.3 million.

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