Sunday, 24 June 2012
: Melbourne Cup winner Dunaden was out of luck running second in the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes behind the impressive favourite Sea Moon at Royal Ascot on Saturday.
| Sir Michael Stoute|
Photo by Racing and Sports
The Sir Michael Stoute-trained Sea Moon showed a great turn of foot under Ryan Moore to burst clear of the field while Dunaden (Christophe Lemaire) lost his position turning for home and then was badly blocked for clear running in the straight.
The Khalid Abdullah-owned Sea Moon won by three and a quarter lengths but Dunaden flew to the line when clear and the margin would have been much closer if he had not been hampered at the critical stage of the race.
Red Cadeaux, beaten a nose by Dunaden in last year's Melbourne Cup, finished third and is the only one of the first three confirmed for a trip to Australia this spring at this stage.
An unlucky third in last year's Ladbrokes St Leger, Sea Moon had done enough to win narrowly on his reappearance at Goodwood last month, scraping home from Dandino in a Listed race, and was a much fitter horse for his Ascot assignment.
Stoute said: "I was disappointed with his performance at Goodwood, but there was mitigation for it. Today he settled nicely and picked up so well - I'm thrilled with him.
"He will come back here for the King George."
Moore added: "I thought he might have his work cut out but I was delighted with him.
He travelled smoothly and picked up real well. He progressed as the season went on last year and hopefully he will again, but this was a very good performance."
Dunaden's trainer Mikel Delzangles said his stayer was likely to return to Ascot for the G1 King George and Queen Elizbaeth Stakes on July 21 and may put the Prix De L'Arc De Triomphe at Longchamp in October ahead of another Melbourne Cup bid.
Delzangles said: "He ran a very good race. He was a bit unlucky because he was stuck when the horses slowed up.
"He quickened very well and the King George is a possibility."
Trainer Ed Dunlop said Red Cadeaux will be primed for another Melbourne Cup bid.
"Dunaden has now beaten us three times, and I think he's proved he's the better horse. We'll freshen him up and give him one more run before going back to Melbourne." Dunlop said.