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Dunaden Cup victory the best in 50 years

3 minute read

Dunaden's amazing Caulfield Cup win last Saturday has been rated the best winning effort in the big race for more than 50 years, according to the nation's leading form expert Gary Crispe.

This is some call given the great Caulfield Cup wins of the modern era include Might And Power's magnificent all-the-way win by seven lengths in 1997, Northerly's courageous effort under 58kg in 2002 and Let's Elope's fast-finishing win in 1991.

There have been other great winners in the last five decades like Gay Icarus (1971), Sobar (1972), Leilani (1974), Mighty Kingdom (1979), Ming Dynasty (1980), Hayai (1983), Tristarc (1986), Cole Diesel (1989), Sydeston (1990), Paris Lane (1994), Doriemus (1995), Sky Heights (1999) and Elvstroem (2004).

But Crispe said none of those horses could match French champion Dunaden's effort to overcome the best Caulfield Cup field in years, an extreme outside barrier, 58kg impost and produce a last-to-first effort to win the big race.

"The winning performance of Dunaden was breath-taking,'' Crispe said.

"In assessing the merit of Dunaden's winning performance, it is clear it was a new master-rating effort.

"Dunaden was found to have run to a Timeform rating of 130, making him the highest rated winner of the Caulfield Cup since the great Tobin Bronze who carried 61.5kg to a narrow victory in 1967.''

Dunaden has been penalised 1kg for the Melbourne Cup, taking his weight to 59kg. No horse has won the Flemington "two-miler'' with more than 58.5kg (Think Big, 1975) since metrics were introduced in 1972.

"Australian history says that is a task, however as we have seen `Euro history' on Aussie soil is quite something else,'' Crispe added.

Dunaden joins Skipton (1941/1943), Rising Fast (1954/55) and Viewed (2008/09) as the only Melbourne Cup winners to return and take the Caulfield Cup.

A sobering thought for Dunaden's connections is that none of this trio was able to win the Melbourne Cup afterwards, the great Rising Fast coming closest when running second in the 1955 Melbourne Cup under a crushing 63.5kg.

However, bookmakers believe Dunaden can win the Melbourne Cup again and have installed him as the $6.50 favourite.

Another French stayer, Americain, the 2010 Melbourne Cup winner, ran on strongly from well back to grab fourth placing in the Caulfield Cup, just over a length from Dunaden.

Americain's run also caught the attention of bookies and he has been promoted to the second line of Melbourne Cup betting at $9.

"It was a run full of merit as he lost two front shoes during the race and apparently was badly in need of the run,'' Crispe said.

"He still ran to a Timeform rating of 127, just two pounds under his peak figure of 129 from last year's Melbourne Cup.

"The comparison between Americain and Dunaden is interesting.

"The pair have now met four times but Dunaden has beaten him every time.

"In the last two match-ups, there has been a length and a half between them on both occasions irrespective of any weight differential.''


Article taken from The Daily Telegraph, published on Friday, 26th October 2012, Author, Ray Thomas, Page 83.

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