French-trained Dunaden wins Caulfield Cup

French stayer Dunaden finished powerfully to win Saturday’s Caulfield Cup, one of the main lead-up races to the defence of his Melbourne Cup crown at Flemington next month.

By (AFP)

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Published: Sat 20 Oct 2012, 5:30 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 9:27 AM

Dunaden (13-1), ridden by Craig Williams and trained by Mikel Delzangles, came with a late burst to win the 2400-metre (12 furlong) Caulfield Cup by half a length from Alcopop (15-1).

It was the seven-year-old entire’s first start since July and he remains unbeaten in Australia after winning the two best handicap races in the country.

Lights of Heaven (10-1) was a further three-quarters of a length away third with the 2010 Melbourne Cup winner and French-trained Americain (20-1) fourth. The 17-5 favourite Glencadam Gold finished 15th in the 18-horse field.

Williams, who won last year’s Caulfield Cup on Southern Speed, missed the ride on Dunaden in last year’s Melbourne Cup through suspension.

Dunaden will now bid to become the first horse since Makybe Diva to win the Melbourne Cup (3200 metres/2 miles) in successive years at Flemington on November 6.

Qatari owner Sheik Fahad Al Thani’s representative Geoffrey Faber said Dunaden has thrived in Australia.

“This horse is remarkable, he does remarkable things and he’s broken records today with being the first allocated top weight to win the Caulfield Cup in how many years,” Faber told reporters.

“He has just thrived since he’s been in Australia and that is the difference. I think he hates France and loves Australia.

“I always thought his better chance today was in the Caulfield Cup. He’s got to carry 58 kilograms (128 pounds) over an extra half a mile (800m) in the Melbourne Cup but he is just an outstanding horse.”

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