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European Runners Dominate Melbourne Cup Market
25/10/12

Despite the opposition having to travel halfway around the world to take them on in their own backyard the home team look to have it all to do against a particularly strong European challenge for the forthcoming Emirates Melbourne Cup at Flemington on November 6.

Dunaden
© Racehorse Photos

Dunaden

French runners have landed the last two runnings of ‘the race that stops a nation’, Alain de Royer-Dupre’s Americain putting up a great weight carrying performance to score in 2010 before finishing fourth last year behind his countryman Dunaden (trained by Mikael Delzangles), who scrambled home by just a nose from the Ed Dunlop-trained Red Cadeaux in the one of the closest and most exciting finishes in the history of the great race.

Dunaden (6/1 in the Unibet online betting odds) is the current favourite for this season’s renewal of the outstanding two-mile handicap event having put up a great display under Craig Williams when cosily accounting for some smart opposition to land the Grade 1 BMW Caulfield Cup Handicap to demonstrate himself in tip-top form. The handicapper in Australia has the opportunity to penalise Melbourne Cup runners even after the weights for the big race have been published, and he has decided to add an extra 2lbs (1kg) to the French star’s weight taking him up to 59kg for the country’s richest race, normally run in front of a crowd in excess of 100,000 racing fans.

Americain (9/1) also shaped with plenty of promise in finishing a length-and-a-half behind the winner in fourth place and will bid again to regain the Melbourne Cup crown after also finishing fourth behind his old rival at Flemington in last season’s showcase event.

Mount Athos, trained by Luca Cumani, a man who has come agonisingly close to winning the race on not one but two occasions, is a strong second-favourite with most firms at around 7/1 having landed the Group 3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury in August in impressive fashion from the smart Brown Panther, while Red Cadeaux (12/1), who was beaten a whisker by Dunaden 12 months ago, is reported to have taken the travel to the southern hemisphere in good part and is training well having not been seen in competitive action since running third to Fiorente in the Group 2 Princess of Wales’s Stakes at Newmarket’s July meeting.

Another European to add into the mix is John Gosden’s Gatewood, who popped up to win the Grade 3 Geelong Handicap on October 23 under big-race specialist Glen Boss and is now generally a 10/1 shot (from 25’s) to round off an amazing season for his popular handler with anther massive win.

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