Dunaden made it back to back wins for France in Australia’s greatest race the 2011 Melbourne Cup(3200m) today in one of the tightest finishes in the 150 year history of the race.
A bob of the head is all that split the Mikel Delzangles, trained galloper from the UK bolter Red Cadeaux who ran the race of his life.
Replays of the finish still had people guessing minutes after the two brave horses went over the line.
And not even the jockeys were sure of the result.
In a triumph for international racing, the first seven horses to cross the line, besides Lucas Cranach, were all trained by foreigners with Niwot in eighth the first Australian horse home.
Delzangles, 40, was too excited after the race to give a full interview while jockey Christophe Lemaire was too emotional.
“There is no words for this,” Lemaire managed.
“I would like to thank everybody for the emotion and the passion they have.
“It is my first time in Australia but I won’t forget it.
It must have been a different emotion for Craig Williams who would have ridden Dunaden had it not been for a suspension for careless riding at Bendigo last week.
Williams’ final appeal failed on Monday evening, within 24 hours of the Cup.
Williams was aiming to be the first jockey in Australian history to win the Melbourne triple crown the Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup in the same year.
Lemaire paid tribute to Williams.
“I was very excited to come and ride the horse but I would like to say a word for Craig because he must be very disappointed today,” he said
“I am sure he will win again big races because he is a top rider and I won’t forget him today.”
Race favourite, last year’s winner the French trained Americain, ran a stunning race after being near last coming around the home turn and flashing home for fourth.
He missed in a photo for third with Lucas Cranach, cranky before the start, ran a bottler after settling midfield.
The surprising aspect of the race was the early lack of speed as the Mike Moroney trained Glass Harmonium settled back and didn’t lead as expected.
That job was left to the Bart Cummings trained Illo who after crawling down the straight the first time was given rein by Jim Cassidy down the back.
It was a Cummings one-two half way through the race with Precedence taking over before the home turn.
Unlike many Cups, the 151st edition had many chances coming to the 300m mark.
Manighar pop his head in front but his lack of sprint showed again.
Suddenly the wall of horses was down to a war of two runners with Red Cadeaux in front but Dunaden fighting hard to his inner.
Dunaden, $8.50 defeated Red Cadeaux, $31, by a nose with Lucas Cranach $13, who just couldn’t bridge the gap a further 1-1/4 lengths away third.
For Delzangles it was a case of copying his old boss Alain De Royer Dupre, the trainer of Americain.
Delzangles was assistant trainer to the aging master trainer for ten years before going out on his own.
Delzangles quickly made good as a trainer and was given 10 horses to train by the Aga Khan in 2008, such was the confidence in the younger trainer.
Delzangles placed Dunaden in 2011 as Royer Dupre placed Americain in 2010 in the Prix Kergolay and the Geelong Cup before winning the Melbourne Cup.
Dunaden even won at the at the same age and with the same weight as Americain had.
It was also the first time Ed Dunlop , the trainer of Red Cadeaux has visited our shores and surely won’t be the last time.
While Racing Victoria doesn’t keep records of Melbourne Cup winning owners, sure 23-year-old member of Qatar’s royal family Sheikh Fahad Al Thani claims that honour.
For Lemaire it was a first ride in Australia he will never forget.
|1st||3||DUNADEN(13)||Christophe Lemaire||Mikel Delzangles||54.5||3-20.84|
|2nd||12||RED CADEAUX(15)||Michael Rodd||Ed Dunlop||53.5||0.1L|
|3rd||9||LUCAS CRANACH(11)||Corey Brown||Anthony Freedman||53.5||1.4L|
|4th||1||AMERICAIN(14)||Gerald Mosse||Alain de Royer Dupre||58.0||1.5L|
|5th||6||MANIGHAR(20)||Damien Oliver||Luca Cumani||54.0||2.7L|
|6th||15||LOST IN THE MOMENT(3)||William Buick||Saeed Bin Suroor||53.0||2.8L|
|7th||8||FOX HUNT(18)||Silvestre De Sousa||Mark Johnston||53.5||2.9L|
|8th||23||NIWOT(9)||Dean Yendall||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||51.0||3.7L|
|9th||7||UNUSUAL SUSPECT(7)||Brad Rawiller||Michael Kent||54.0||3.8L|
|10th||17||AT FIRST SIGHT(10)||Steven King||Robert Hickmott||52.5||6.5L|
|11th||11||PRECEDENCE(2)||Darren Beadman||Bart Cummings||53.5||6.6L|
|12th||4||DRUNKEN SAILOR(8)||Dwayne Dunn||Luca Cumani||54.0||7.6L|
|13th||21||THE VERMINATOR(4)||Craig Newitt||Chris Waller||52.0||7.8L|
|14th||22||TULLAMORE(12)||Chris Munce||Gai Waterhouse||52.0||7.9L|
|15th||18||MOYENNE CORNICHE(16)||Brett Prebble||Brian Ellison||52.0||8.0L|
|16th||19||SAPTAPADI(21)||Chris Symons||Brian Ellison||52.0||8.1L|
|17th||24||OLDER THAN TIME(19)||Tim Clark||Gai Waterhouse||51.0||8.6L|
|18th||13||HAWK ISLAND(17)||Glyn Schofield||Chris Waller||53.0||8.9L|
|19th||14||ILLO(1)||Jim Cassidy||Bart Cummings||53.0||14.9L|
|20th||2||JUKEBOX JURY(6)||Neil Callan||Mark Johnston||57.0||16.7L|
|21st||20||SHAMROCKER(23)||Luke Nolen||Danny O’Brien||52.0||17.0L|
|22nd||5||GLASS HARMONIUM(22)||Lisa Cropp||Michael Moroney||54.0||17.1L|
|23rd||16||MODUN(5)||Kerrin McEvoy||Saeed Bin Suroor||53.0||25.6L|
|Src||10||MOURAYAN||Hugh Bowman||Robert Hickmott|