Déjà vu in Melbourne Cup

French raider Dunaden delivered the last rites to the Australian bred stayer with a last-gasp victory in the G1 Melbourne Cup at Flemington on Tuesday.

Dunaden (6h Nicobar – La Marlia by Kaldounevees) emulated fellow French stayer Americain when he came off a G3 victory in the Geelong Cup to win Australia’s signature event.

Dunaden (Fr) defeated Red Cadeaux (GB) by a nose with Lucas Cranach (Ger) third home another length away.  Last year’s Cup winner Americain (USA) was a fast finishing fourth and he was followed in by Manighar (Fr), Lost In The Moment (Ire) and Fox Hunt (Ire).

The first Australian bred to finish was Niwot in eighth place.  He is a son of former Coolmore shuttler Galileo and was bred by a Mudgee syndicate led by local lawyer Stephen Flynn.

Dunaden is trained by Mikel Delzangles for Pearl Bloodstock owner Sheikh Fahad al Thani of Qatar. 

He landed a Cagnes-sur-mer maiden in January 2010 and then won at Longchamp before finishing the year with a Listed victory at Lyon.

Dunaden resumed with a G3 win in the Prix De Barbeville (3200m) at Longchamp in April.  Americain trailed him three lengths in arrears.  Before entering quarantine, he was beaten six lengths by Jukebox Jury in the G2 Prix Kergorlay at Deauville.

Dunaden’s sire Nicobar (Indian Ridge) was a Group 2 winner in England and Italy.  He is based south of Lyon at Ecuries de la Daudaies.

His dam La Marlia (Kaldounevees) didn’t race and neither did his second dam La Rotunda (Romildo).  His third dam Sugarberry (Comrade in Arms) and fourth dam Maple Sugar (Northern Treat) retired as maidens.