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Dunaden on course for famous Melbourne Cup/Hong Kong double

French-trained stayer Dunaden is reportedly in fine shape ahead of his bid to land an unprecedented international double when he seeks to add Sunday’s Grade 1 Hong Kong Vase to his last-gasp success in the Emirates Melbourne Cup at Flemington a month ago, writes Elliot Slater.

Scheduled to cross swords once again with Ed Dunlop’s Red Cadeaux who he defeated by just a nose in one of the most thrilling finishes ever seen to Australia’s highest profile race, the five-year-old has reportedly settled in very well at Sha Tin and took the journey over from Australia very much in his long, raking stride. Trained by Mikael Dezangles, (the young French handler who burst onto the international racing scene last year when his Makfi scored a surprise 33/1 triumph in the 2000 Guineas), Dunaden is the current 7/1 horse racing betting favourite for the mile-and-a-half contest that has attracted a host of top performers from around the globe.

Dezangles appears unconcerned by the fact that his proven stayer will have to drop back four furlongs in trip for Sunday’s race, rightly pointing out that he proved particularly effective at the distance when landing the Geelong Cup in October in his prep race for the Melbourne Cup itself. The son of Nicobar has made stunning progress over the last 12 months graduating from a win in listed company in the French provinces to scale the heights and put himself very much at the centre of the international racing scene.

Fellow French contender Vadamar (8/1) is another of the market principles along with Red Cadeaux (10/1), whilst other popular globetrotters to be trying their luck in the race include Godolphin’s Campanologist (10/1) and the Charlie Hills-trained star Redwood (10/1), as well as the hugely popular local star Thumbs Up (8/1), recent winner of the Cathay Pacific Jockey Club Cup at Sha Tin over ten furlongs.

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