Bookmakers around Australia have acted swiftly making French galloper Dunaden Melbourne Cup second favourite after he won today’s 2011 Geelong Cup (2400m).
Having his first race start in Australia, the Mikel Dalzangles trained galloper made relatively light work of the Group three field.
Dunaden is as short at $8 with bookies to take out Australia’s greatest race on November 1 behind last year’s Geelong and Melbourne Cup winner Americain, another French trained galloper.
“Again the French have come and conquered,” Luxbet’s Paul Vincent said.
“Dunaden was arrogantly ridden by jockey Craig Williams.
“The horse will take great benefit from the run and his price in the Melbourne Cup has been slashed from $21 into $9 second favourite.”
Jockey Craig Williams settled Dunaden back in the field and circled before the turn.
He put pay to the slight resistance of Tanby and won by three quarters of a length with an unlucky Bauer a further three quarters away third.
Uk gallop Bauer now satisfies the first clause of the 2011 Melbourne Cup that being placed in a 2300m Group race since August 2009.
Bauer being a nine-year-old with a Cup weight of just 52kg is placed 41st in the Melbourne Cup order of entry still needing luck to gain a start.
He was blocked for a run and finished strongly at Geelong but all glory goes to the winner Dunaden whose winning margin didn’t do him justice.
Dunaden appeared to just be warming to the task when the finishing post arrived.
There is little doubt this year’s Geelong Cup wasn’t one of strength with Dunaden the lone horse to have been safely in the top 24 in the Melbourne Cup order of entry prior to the race.
“His best distance is 3000m and above, he’s going good,” jockey Craig Williams said.
“No one would argue it’s definitely not as strong (Geelong Cup) as it’ been in past years.
“He’s won, it’s all he had to do.”
Williams didn’t confirm he would ride Dunaden in the Melbourne Cup but one wouldn’t believe there is a better ride.
Racing Victoria handicapper Greg Carpenter will tomorrow decide on what Melbourne Cup penalty Dunaden will get for today’s win.
He currently has 54kg for the Melbourne Cup, a 4kg pull on Cup favourite Americain 58kg.
Dunaden earlier in the year won the Group 3 Barbeville at Longchamp, a race where Americian, finished sixth.
That day Dunaden carried 1.5kg more than Americain so he looks particularly well weighted for the Melbourne Cup.
Americain will start his Melbourne Cup campaign in Australia in the Moonee Valley Cup on Saturday.