Two years ago Red Cadeaux finished a nose behind French trained Dunaden in the race. Last year he turned the tables on that rival, but both finished well down the field. Both ran again this year, and whilst Dunaden was again well beaten, Red Cadeaux put his best foot forward, only to go down by half a length to last year’s runner up, Fiorente. So, it was a case of the groomsman’s role for Dunlop, whilst Australian trainer Gai Waterhouse stepped up to the bride’s spot and her first win in the Cup.
Dunlop put a brave face on things, whilst clearly disappointed. He said, “The jockey (Gerard Mosse) has probably given as good a ride as he could without winning a Melbourne Cup. I’m so proud of the horse. He’s older and he’s carrying more weight and he’s probably run as well, if not better, than when he was second here before.”
This was not the first time that Fiorente had taken the measure of Dunlop’s horse. When Fiorente was in Sir Michael Stoute’s stable, he had Red Cadeaux in third place in the Group 2 Princess of Wales’s Stakes at Newmarket in July 2012, so it can hardly have come as a complete surprise to find them finishing in the same order this morning.
Last year’s Melbourne Cup was Fiorente’s first race in Australia, which perhaps explains why he was allowed to go off at 66/1. The Aussies have got to know the horse now, and this morning he went off as 6/1 favourite, justifying that market position by tracking Red Cadeaux’s run in the straight and picking him off in the final half furlong.
Jockey Damien Oliver was thrilled that he was there riding at all. He was suspended for ten months at the end of 2012 for betting on another jockey’s horse in a race he was riding in, and only returned to the saddle in September. Waterhouse decided he was the jockey she wanted for the Cup after the two met a few weeks ago, as Oliver explained.
He said, “ I saw Gai at the yearling sales in Melbourne, we had a good chat, but there was no talk about riding for her. I didn't really think we'd be teaming up. I was very thankful for the opportunities. She showed a lot of guts to support me, and threw me on some good rides early. Those winners made people sit up and take notice, and she gave me the confidence to get on the good horses at the start of my comeback.”