Throwback Tuesday – Dunaden’s 2012 Caulfield Cup Win

There are just a few more days before we can all enjoy the 2016 renewal of the Caulfield Cup (Saturday 15th October), one of the richest and most-important races on the Australian calendar.

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We are only going to go back 4 years, to recall a fantastic winner. The French horse Dunaden was sired by Nicobar and out of a dam called La Marlia. He was owned by Pearl Bloodstock and bred by Comte Decazes.

In 2011, he quickly established himself as one of the world’s best thoroughbreds, winning the Prix de Barbeville, Geelong Cup, Melbourne Cup and Hong Kong Vase.

Dunaden cost just £1,200 as a foal and was bought at the Arqana December sale. This was mainly because Nicobar was not rated as a top sire and had been rarely used for breeding.

He was given a wide draw, in the 2012 Caulfield Cup and was immediately held-up at the rear of the field by jockey Craig Williams. This enabled Dunaden to hug the rail and at the first corner, it was Glencanem Gold that led from Voila Ici, December Draw and Secret Admirer.

Those front 4 positions remained held by the same runners, right up to the 600m marker. There had been no great amount of pace and this did not appear to be the sort of contest that would benefit horses at the back of the pack.

My Quest For Peace made the first bid for home and took the lead with 300m left to travel. Dunaden was now switched back wide. This gave him a clear run, but he still had a huge amount to do against horses in front who had reached the final turn barely breaking sweat.

Alcopop then appeared on the scene and suddenly looked the most likely winner. Having taken the lead though, that runner just couldn’t break clear and the nose-banded Dunaden hit top-gear with less than 150m to go.

The race was immediately sewn-up and even though he won the Caulfield Cup by less than a length, it was a rather cosy victory.

He earned a total of £5,271,584 for connections, in a glittering career that won’t be forgotten in a hurry.

We already have a live ante-post market for the 2016 Caulfield Cup. Ciaron Maher’s Jameka is the favourite and by quite some margin. Other’s that have been backed include Real Love, Exospheric, Articus (Germany) and Tally.

The race will also feature 2 very-interesting entries from the British Isles. Charlie Appleby’s Scottish, a Listed and G3 winner, cannot be ruled out of this.

Aidan O’Brien’s Sir Isaac Newton has yet to fair well in G1 company, after also winning at Listed and G3 level, but the wily trainer is unlikely to have sent him all that way just to taste the Amber Nectar. Can a Northern-Hemisphere raider land the spoils, this year?

The Aussie flat season is just starting to hit its straps, with some very-important races coming up. The Cox Plate will be held on Saturday 22nd October, while the Melbourne Cup is on Tuesday November 1st.

We have live ante-post markets for those 2 encounters, as well.

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