Former Melbourne Cup winner Dunaden is a legitimate chance in the 2013 edition of the race despite his heavy weight, according to stable representative Geoffrey Fabre.
Fabre is has accompanied Dunaden to Australia for each of his two previous tilts at the Melbourne Cup and believes that the Nicobar entire is in the best form of his entire career after being competitive at weight-for-age level in Europe; finishing in the placings in the Group 1 Prix Ganay (2100m), Group 1 Coronation Cup (2423m) and Group 1 Grand Prix De Saint-Cloud (2400m).
“I remember last year that I declared he was in career best form and from what I have seen at Werribee this year I think that he has even topped that,” Fabre said at the barrier draw.
“He is the class horse in the race.
“He has finished second to the two best weight-for-age horses in Europe this year and if any horse has the class to carry the weight, it is him if we get the right run.
“It was a direct decision not to go for the Arc when he wasn’t a winning chance and we thought that we would come down here.”
Dunaden will start the 2013 Melbourne Cup from gate one with leading English jockey Jamie Spencer, who will be making his debut in ‘the race that stops nation’, on board.
Fabre admitted that the barrier draw was not ideal for the veteran stayer and believes he will need a bit of luck in running to become the first horse since Peter Pan in 1934 to win the Melbourne Cup in two non-consecutive years.
“Barrier one is going to be hard and I’m not sure that he likes to be crowded by other horses so we will have to see how he jumps,” Fabre said
“It is not easy from there clearly.”
Is Dunaden good enough to carry 58.5kg to victory in the Melbourne Cup or will he join greats like Phar Lap, Kingston Town and Yeats who have failed in the Melbourne Cup carrying a heavy weight?
#1 Dunaden – Horse Form
- Barrier: 1
- Jockey: Jamie Spencer
- Trainer: Mikel Delzangles
- Owners: Pearl Bloodstock Limited
- Age: 8YO
- Gender: Entire
- Breeding: by Nicobar from La Marlia
- Career: 41 10-11-8
- Win: 24%
- Place: 71&
- Last 5: 43228
- Prize Money: $7,663,406
- Track: 2 1-0-0
- Distance: 2 1-0-0
- Current 2013 Caulfield Cup Odds: $41 ($82 DTO)