Seasoned traveller Red Cadeaux will be lining up for the fifth time in the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on Tuesday and trainer Ed Dunlop says the veteran galloper is going as good as ever.
“Very happy with him and we are all very flattered that everyone loves him that much,” Ed Dunlop told racing.com.
“He has been the same as ever. The boys have been happy with his weight and the way that he looks, I think touch wood, all is going well.”
Red Cadeaux has raced in every Melbourne Cup since 2011 and has filled the runner’s up stall on three of those occasions with Dunlop describing his tight photo finish second to Dunaden in 2011 as the most frustrating of his three placings.
“The first one was the closest we got to winning and that will always remain the frustration but we have been very proud of the way he has run twice and it is great to part of the game again,” Dunlop said.
After getting so close without winning, the top English trainer was keen to return to Melbourne the following year but the big chestnut could only manage to finish eighth to Green Moon at his second attempt.
But the following year Dunlop found himself back in the runner’s up stall and had to witness Gai Waterhouse celebrating her first Melbourne Cup victory with Fiorente.
And last year Red Cadeaux had to lead the field home behind runaway winner Protectionist when four lengths away in second spot.
Dunlop has not been frightened to travel with Red Cadeaux who has raced in six different countries with his only Group 1 success coming in the 2012 HK$15m Longines Hong Kong Vase (2400m) at Sha Tin in Hong Kong.
As well as racing in Australia, Hong Kong and his home country of England, the now ten year old has also raced in Ireland, Dubai and Japan.
Dunlop was also attracted by the huge prizemoney on offer with ‘The Championships’ in Sydney and came back to Australia during the Autumn early in the year.
The wily Englisman took Red Cadeaux back to Melbourne where he ran fifth to Spillway in the Group 1 $1m Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 14 before heading to Sydney where he ran second to Melbourne Cup rival Criterion in the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick.
“He finished second in Sydney in a Group 1 to Criterion and was a little unlucky in the race,” Dunlop said.
Two starts back at Royal Ascot Red Cadeaux failed to beat a runner home when seventh to Snow Sky in the Group 2 £200,000 Hardwicke Stakes (1 mile 4 furlongs) and Dunlop said that he probably shouldn’t have run him.
But he was happy with his latest effort that saw him run third in the Group 3 £60,000 Betfred TV Geoffrey Freer Stakes (1 mile 5 ½ furlongs) at Newbury on August 15.
“I probably shouldn’t have run him at Royal Ascot, then we gave him a holiday and he came back and ran in the Geoffrey Freer when he wasn’t ready and he run very well and arguably you can say his form is the same.”
Hong Kong based French jockey Gerald Mosse has had a long association with Red Cadeaux, including being aboard in two of his three Melbourne Cup placings and will be on top of the gallant stayer again on Tuesday.
Red Cadeaux has drawn favourably at barrier eight and Dunlop expects Mosse to give him a nice run in the middle of the field and can see him amongst the prizemoney again.
“He has got a good draw this time and hopefully we will be able to use that and settle in the middle of the pack,” Dunlop said.
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“Having gone so close on so many times it would be fantastic to win. If he runs in the top four I would be delighted.”
Red Cadeaux has been steady at $26 with Ladbrokes.com.au since the final field was released on Saturday.
Dunlop will also saddle up $8.50 second favourite Trip To Paris who put himself right into Melbourne Cup calculations with a solid second to Mongolian Khan in the Group 1 $3m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 17.
Tough Japanese stayer Fame Game heads the market order at $4 while the Chris Waller trained Preferment also well up in contention at $11.
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