The retirement and subsequent passing of heroic three-time Melbourne Cup runner-up Red Cadeaux last spring hasn’t stopped British horseman Ed Dunlop from targeting an elusive win in the ‘race that stops a nation’.
The gallant Red Cadeaux contested five Melbourne Cups over his career.
The first was in 2011 when finishing second in one of the race’s closest ever results behind French raider Dunaden over the two miles at Flemington.
His 2012 bid only managed to produce an eighth to Green Moon, but the warhorse returned thrice more.
He made history with a subsequent two second places behind Gai Waterhouse’s maiden champ in the classic Fiorente in 2013 and German raider Protectionist in 2014.
Red Cadeaux failed to finish last year’s $6 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) due to injury and was retired.
Later that November the champion succumbed to the broken foreleg and had to be euthanised.
His trainer Dunlop described it as “my saddest day in racing”, but he could be back down under with another stayer this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival looking to do what the much loved Red Cadeaux could not, win a Melbourne Cup.
Racing Victoria’s chief international talent scout Leigh Jordon has compiled a hit list of major international raiders he is keen to see make the trip to Melbourne for the spring features.
Among his targets are aforementioned former Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist who is back in Germany and back to Group 2 winning form, current favourite in pre-nomination betting Order Of St George who won the Ascot Gold Cup last month and a couple from the Newmarket stables of Dunlop.
“Ed Dunlop also has a few horses in contention,” Jordon confirmed.
Currently rated a $26 chance in Melbourne Cup markets at Ladbrokes.com.au is Dunlop’s Champs Elysees gelding Trip To Paris.
The rising six-year-old was in Australia last year and ran a brave second to Mongolian Khan in the $3 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) and fourth to Darren Weir’s upset 101/1 winner Prince Of Penzance in the Melbourne Cup on the first Tuesday of November.
Trip To Paris could make another Spring Cups raid this year with Dunlop and connections at La Grange Partnership firstly looking at a run in the Group 2 Goodwood Cup (3219m) at home at the end of the month, a race the horse finished third to Big Orange in last year.
“Trip To Paris, who ran fourth in last year’s Melbourne Cup, is back in training which is great and according to connections they’re aiming at the Goodwood meeting later this month,” Jordon said.
Also on Jordon’s radar is stablemate Red Verdon, an up-and-coming young colt whose last run produced a fourth to Hazard in the Group 1 Irish Derby (2414m) at the Curragh on June 25.
“His [Dunlop’s] other horse, Red Verdon, was impressive when fourth in the Irish Derby behind Harzand,” he said.
“A big race to watch for him will be the Group 2 Princess of Wales’ Stakes [2412m] at Newmarket this month [on Thursday], so I’m looking forward to that to understand whether he is a carnival contender.”