Today, Wednesday October 19, Dunaden became the second French-trained galloper in as many years to win the Geelong Cup, racing away with a commanding win and emerging as a genuine contender for the upcoming 2011 Melbourne Cup at Flemington.
Emulating last year’s Geelong Cup – Melbourne Cup winner Americain, the Mikel Delzangles-trained Dunaden made their Australian race debut as the 58kg topweight in the $225,000 Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m) and easily accounted for their rivals.
Given a well-timed ride by jockey Craig Williams, who only days ago saluted aboard Southern Speed in the Caulfield Cup, Nicobar six-year-old Dunaden was able to run down and defeat the favourite Tanby for the 2011 Geelong Cup win.
Storming home strongly on the outside, Dunaden ($6) finished three-quarters of a length clear of the Robert Hickmott-trained Tanby ($3.10F) while Luca Cumani’s gallant old grey Bauer ($5.50) charged home late to snare third the same margin back again.
It was a significant Geelong Cup result as Dunaden has now firmed dramatically in the Luxbet markets for the $6.2 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on the first Tuesday of November.
The third place finish by 2008 Geelong Cup winner and Melbourne Cup runner-up Bauer also saw the popular grey qualify for this year’s edition of the ‘race that stops a nation’, but they are still well down the order of entry and far from assured of a start.
Bauer was rated a $51 chance in the Melbourne Cup odds at Luxbet prior to the 2011 Geelong Cup results but has since been slashed into $21.
Williams warned that Dunaden would only improve once they get to Flemington over the two-miles of the iconic Melbourne Cup.
“His best distance is 3000 (metres) and above,” Williams said.
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2011 Geelong Cup Results
|1||1||DUNADEN (FR)||Mikel Delzangles||Craig Williams||–||8||58kg||$6|
|2||4||TANBY||Robert Hickmott||Steven King||0.75L||6||53kg||$3.10F|
|3||2||BAUER (IRE)||Luca Cumani||Damien Oliver||1.5L||9||56kg||$5.50|
|4||3||SHOWCAUSE||Frank Ritchie||Luke Nolen||1.9L||13||53.5kg||$13|
|5||13||PERFECT PECS||Rick Hore-Lacy||Dean Yendall||2L||7||53kg||$31|
|6||7||BACK IN BLACK (NZ)||John Steffert||Craig Newitt||2.3L||5||53kg||$31|
|7||8||SPECHENKA||Ben Ahrens||Michael Walker||3.05L||10||53kg (cd 53.5kg)||$31|
|8||6||I’M JAKE (NZ)||David Brideoake & David Feek||Dwayne Dunn||4.05L||1||53kg||$9|
|9||10||HUME (NZ)||David Brideoake & David Feek||Stephen Baster||4.8L||12||53kg||$41|
|10||11||RED EYE SPECIAL (NZ)||Anthony Cummings||Chris Symons||11.8L||2||53kg||$12|
|11||5||ABOVE AVERAGE (IRE)||Anthony Freedman||Ms Lisa Cropp||13.8L||11||53kg||$10|
|12||12||DIYARAKA (FR)||Michael Moroney||Kerrin McEvoy||14L||4||53kg||$101|
|FF||9||REBEL SOLDIER (IRE)||David Hayes||James Winks||–||3||53kg (cd 53.5kg)||$71|