Dunaden has asserted himself as a genuine Melbourne Cup contender following in the footsteps of Americain in winning today’s Geelong Cup.
Like Americain he is French trained and like Americain he was simply too good at the death, easing past a gallant Tanby out in front.
Dunaden managed to achieve the win despite being top weight at 58kg, two more than the next closest in Bauer.
Speaking of Bauer, the nine year old simply can’t take a trick in Australia once again running into trouble off the bend before putting in an electric final 200m sectional.
In fact he came from not in the picture to run third, blasting past other horses as if they were standing still.
It wasn’t enough though as Dunaden enjoyed an easy run throughout and was able to claim the Geelong Cup and earn a huge amount of momentum going into the Melbourne Cup.
In an ominous warning from the stable though they said Dunaden won this race on ‘class alone’, something that is backed up by their assessment pre race.
The fact is he wasn’t wound up anywhere near 100 percent for this run and their plan all along has been the Melbourne Cup.
In fact post race the victory was described as a ‘bonus win’ showing that they weren’t even trying in Geelong today.
That means you can expect a couple of lengths improvement form Dunaden fitness wise before the Melbourne Cup and potentially another French victory in the race that stops the nation.
For Dunaden a spot in that field is guaranteed, it’s only the size of the penalty that’s up in the air which is why connections were trying to talk down today’s performance.
That’s not the case though for Bauer which has passed a distance clause with his third placed finish but remains on the cusp of the Melbourne Cup field.
Tanby is in the same boat however it’s yet to be confirmed whether or connections are looking to push him towards the two mile trip.
Craig Williams rode Dunaden in today’s race and he said he had no problems booking the ride after getting on his back.
“Once I got a feel of him I liked what I felt,” he said.
His assessment backs up the claims that the best is yet to come.
“His best distance is 3000m and above, he’s going good,” he said.
He said he’s likely to keep the ride going into the Melbourne Cup however perhaps with one eye on the handicapper tried to play down today’s performance.
“The way I went I’m pretty happy on him,” he 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.”