UK trainer Ed Dunlop is not one to over state a situation or the chances of his horses and he is not trumpeting the chances of Red Cadeaux in today’s Group 1 $A2.5m Hong Kong Vase (2400m) at Sha Tin.
But his murmurings are very similar to those when the five-year-old went within pixels on winning the 2011 Melbourne Cup last start.
“We’re very pleased with him,” Dunlop said.
“He looks great and is in good condition, he did all of his work in Australia and has done very little here.
“This is a different style (of race).
“Lack of pace would concern me for every horse.
“If they go slow and sprint it probably won’t be the most convenient thing for us, but they went slow in the Melbourne Cup and he nearly won.
“Look, he’s in good form, (but) we are under no illusions what a task it is.”
The task is taking on the Melbourne Cup winner Dunaden among others at weight-for-age at 2400m.
It is clear the $11 Hong Kong Vase chance on IASbet is an honest type who will give a good show but perhaps it is Dunlop himself that gives punters confidence.
He has an impressive record at the Hong Kong International meeting having had two winners from only three runners.
His great mares Snow Fairy (2010 Hong Kong Cup winner) and Ouija Board (2005 Hong Kong Vase winner) make for good reading.
This year’s Vase is considering wide open with Dunaden the $5.50 favourite with Australia’s Craig Williams back aboard.
”There does not appear to be a lot of pressure up front which is not going to help our chances but he has drawn very well in barrier 3 and that gives us some options,” Williams said.
The lack of pace also leaves his French trainer Mikel Delzangles with concerned.
”There are not really any front runners and I think it might be a 400 metre sprint but I think he is as good as he was in Melbourne and think he can cope with the 2400 metres,” he said.
One name that is now familiar with Australians is French trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre, the mentor of Americain.
Royer-Dupre lines up Vadamar ($5.50) in the Vase.’
A win in the race would be the first for a three-year-old colt though two fillies have won the Vase.
The Aga Khan owned horse is a $8 chance with IASBet but its advantage is that he has been specifically aimed at the race.
Vadamar ran seventh in this year’s Epsom Derby was given a break in September and he won the Prix du Conseil de Paris in October.
The question is whether Vadamar having just his eighth start is seasoned enough to win but one cannot underestimate Royer-Dupre – bookies certainly haven’t.
2011 HONG KONG VASE (2400m) – 5pm Aust EST
- No. Horse Wt. Jockey Draw Trainer Age/Sex
- 1 TRAILBLAZER 126 K Ando 8 Y Ikee 4c
- 2 JAKKALBERRY 126 F Branca 13 M Botti 5h
- 3 SILVER POND 126 T Jarnet 2 F Head 4c
- 4 CAMPANOLOGIST126 L Dettori 6 S bin Suroor 6h
- 5 DUNADEN 126 C Williams 3 M Delzangles 5 h
- 6 MIGHTY HIGH 126 D Beadman11 J Moore 5g
- 7 MR MEDICI 126 G Mosse 5 L Ho 6h
- 8 REDWOOD 126 M Hills 12 C Hills 5h
- 9 THUMBS UP 126 B Prebble 1 C Fownes 7g
- 10 RED CADEAUX 126 R Moore 7 E A L Dunlop5g
- 11 SUPER SATIN 126 O Doleuze 9 C Fownes 6g
- 12 SARAH LYNX 122 C Soumillon 4 J E Hammond 3f
- 13 VADAMAR 121 C Lemaire 10 A de Royer-Dupre 3c