Caulfield Cup winner Dunaden has been penalised 1kg for his historical win at Caulfield last Saturday and will be asked to carry 59kg in the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 6.
Dunaden became the first original topweight to win the Group 1 $2.5m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) and will meet last year’s Melbourne Cup runner-up Red Cadeaux 2.5kg worse after beating the Ed Dunlop trained seven year old by a nose.
Racing Victoria (RV) General Manager – Racing, Greg Carpenter was very impressed with Dunaden’s win in a quality Caulfield Cup field and had no hesitation in handing out the 1kg penalty.
“Dunaden again proved himself one of the most gifted 2400-metre horses in the world on Saturday winning the BMW Caulfield Cup with 58kg in what was an outstanding performance,” Carpenter said.
“Given the quality of field he beat and the manner in which he won the race the victory demanded a review of his Emirates Melbourne Cup handicap and I have penalised him 1kg thus rising to 59kg.
“I am aware however that a new challenge awaits him in the Melbourne Cup with horses of the calibre of Mount Athos (54kg), Galileo’s Choice (53.5kg), Green Moon (53.5kg), Mourayan (53.5kg), Tac De Boistron (53.5kg) and Brigantin (53kg) all having elected not to run at Caulfield.
“His arch rival Red Cadeaux comes into the race with 55.5kg and Dunaden, with his 59kg, now meets that horse 2.5kg worse than he did in their epic finish to last year’s race. In terms of distance in a 3200-metre contest 1kg is considered to be the equivalent of almost 2 lengths.”
The outstanding French stayer will have to create history again if he can carry 59kg to win back to back Melbourne Cups, a feat that hasn’t been completed since the great Makybe Diva won her third Cup in 2005 with 58kg.
Dunaden repeated the efforts of the Bart Cummings trained Viewed who came back to win the Caulfield Cup the year after taking out the Melbourne Cup beating Bauer by a nose.
The Mikel Delzangles trained French seven year old stayer could also become the first stayer since Kiwi Ethereal in 2001 to win both Cups in the same year if he can repeat last year’s victory at Flemington and Carpenter said that we have to go back to 1955 to find Rising Fast who carried 59kg in the Melbourne Cup when wining the Cups double.
Only Rising Fast in 1955 with 9st 5lb has carried a weight rivalling the 59kg allocated to Dunaden when completing the Caulfield-Melbourne Cup double,” Carpenter said.
Only five horses have won the Caulfield Cup – Melbourne Cup double in the same year since 1980 with Gurner’s Lane winning in 1982, Let’s Elope (1991), Doriemus (1995), Might And Power (1997) and Ethereal.
Dunaden has shot to a clear cut Melbourne Cup favourite at $6 ahead of Mount Athos at $8.50 with 2010 winner Americain on the third line of betting at $9 just in front of Green Moon at $10.