Dunaden wins Melbourne Cup 2011

Dunaden survived the closest finish in the history of the Melbourne Cup to give France its second straight victory in Australia’s greatest race.

The judges had to use extreme magnification to separate Dunaden ($8.50) from English horse Red Cadeaux ($31).

Germany’s Lucas Cranach ($13) was third, just edging last year’s winner Americain ($5 favourite) into fourth.

The race was dominated by international runners, who filled nine of the first 10 places. Niwot (seventh) was the first local runner home.

Dunaden’s jockey Christophe Lemaire, who arrived in Australia 24 hours before the race after Craig Williams lost an appeal to keep the ride, shed tears when judges gave him the verdict.

“It’s incredible – it’s a great moment for me,” Lemaire said.

“I feel very sorry for Craig. He’s a good friend of mine.

“I know it’s very hard for him but it’s part of a jockey’s life and I’m sure he’ll win the Melbourne Cup one year.”

Dunaden followed the same path as Americain, winning the Geelong Cup in his only start in Australia before the Cup.

The victory lands his Qatari owner Sheik Fahad al Thani $3.6 million plus a trophy worth $175,000.

It was a triumph for French trainer Mikel Delzangles, a former assistant in the stable of Americain’s trainer Alain De Royer-Dupre at Chantilly.

“I’m still shaking. It’s amazing. I thought I was beaten, so it’s even better,” Delzangles said.

01 Nov 2011


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