Melbourne Cup: Red Cadeaux seeks historic win for Ed Dunlop

Trainer Ed Dunlop
Ed Dunlop has trained winners of major races in eight different countries
Emirates Melbourne Cup
Venue: Flemington Racecourse Date: Tuesday 4 November, 04:00 GMT (15:00 local) Coverage: Commentary on BBC Radio 5 live; live text updates on BBC Sport website

Trainer Ed Dunlop says a British victory in the Melbourne Cup is getting closer as he prepares Red Cadeaux for a fourth run in the race.

The horse has twice been second in the Australian contest, which has never been won by a runner trained in the UK.

"I know it keeps eluding everyone, but of course it will happen," Newmarket trainer Dunlop told BBC Sport.

"It wouldn't be the greatest surprise if it happened sooner rather than later, and hopefully it's this year."

European horses in the Melbourne Cup
Britain: No British-trained horse has ever won. Red Cadeaux second in both 2013 (beaten three quarters of a length) and 2011 (nose)
Ireland: Two winners, both trained by Dermot Weld - 1993 Vintage Crop, 2002 Media Puzzle
Europe: The 2011 and 2012 runnings were won by French challengers (Americain and Dunaden) but three of the last five victors have been Australian

Red Cadeaux was beaten by the shortest possible distance, a nose, by Dunaden in 2011 before finishing eighth a year later and runner-up again 12 months ago.

Dunlop arrived in Australia on Thursday and hopes his nine-year-old horse, who was also second in the 2013 Dubai World Cup, can go one better this time.

"I think it's more open this year. You could argue there are less class horses. I know he's got more weight but it's a narrower band of handicap," said Dunlop.

"Can he win? He doesn't normally win - he's probably the greatest bridesmaid. But I like what I saw on Friday morning when he had a final blowout and he looks in good form with himself.

"It would be great, unbelievable were he to win. The phenomenal thing is to be lucky enough to have a horse coming from Europe that can run in four consecutive Melbourne Cups.

"He's very good. The boys have done a fantastic job. All credit goes to Robin (Trevor-Jones, assistant trainer) and Steve (Nicholson, work rider) who have been here for five weeks with him.

Illustrator Darren Bird's take on Red Cadeaux
Illustrator Darren Bird's take on the globetrotting Red Cadeaux

"Literally, in the last four years, they have spent nearly two years travelling around the world with this horse. The dedication they have shown is amazing - they deserve all the credit there is."

Dunlop cites fellow European challengers, the Godolphin horse Cavalryman and Germany's Protectionist, along with the Japanese favourite Admire Rakti, as serious challengers in the two-mile event.

The Melbourne Cup, first run in 1861, is known as "the race that stops a nation" and attracts a crowd of more than 100,000 to Flemington Racecourse.

"It's an enormous horse race. As a spectacle, it's one of the greatest I will ever go to. Even four days out, Melbourne was going barmy for the Melbourne Cup. It's simply amazing," he added.

"We've won some big races but this would probably go down as the biggest day for us, because of where he's come from.

"It would be an incredible achievement, but we're under no illusion. It's a very tough ask. We hope it's a truly run race. Many horses have tried, and we've tried, and failed."

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