Williams: Dunaden can defy the odds

Sportal October 19, 2012, 2:02 pm
Dunaden

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Premier jockey Craig Williams has no doubt his mount Dunaden can off-set carrying the equal top weight and starting from the widest barrier in the field to win Saturday's $2.5 million Group One Caulfield Cup (2400m).

The French trained galloper is aiming to emulate the feat of Bart Cummings' Viewed three years ago by coming back to win the Caulfield Cup the year after the winning the Melbourne Cup.

And like Viewed that day in 2009, Dunaden will have to carry top weight on Saturday although Dunaden will carry 1kg more with 58kg than what Viewed lumped to victory.

Dunaden will also have to jump from the widest barrier (18) while Viewed jumped from barrier 13 three years ago.

The last horse to carry 58kg to victory in the Caulfield Cup was the mighty Western Australian horse Northerly in 2002 while the last horse to win from barrier 18 was Lord Reims in 1987.

However Williams, who would have ridden the horse to victory in last year's Melbourne Cup if not for suspension after winning both the Caulfield Cup with Southern Speed and the Cox Plate with Pinker Pinker, has no doubt Dunaden is good enough to overcome all the obstacles in his path on Saturday.

"There is no doubt we can win the race, we just need luck from that wide gate," Williams told Melbourne racing radio station ''RSN'' on Friday morning.

"My job will be to get him cover (from the wide barrier) and then get him to rest for the first half of the race."

Williams said Dunaden - now a seven-year-old stallion is a lot different horse now to the one that triumphed in Australia's greatest race nearly a year ago.

"He feels bigger and stronger and goes a lot keener in his races but his weight is the same," Williams said.

"But his form coming into the Melbourne spring this year is even better than it was coming in last year and we all saw what he did last year."

Williams rejected the theory that the 2400m of the Caulfield Cup would be too short for Dunaden following his win in the 3200m of the Melbourne Cup last year.

"He was originally going to be set this campaign for a 2400m race in Qatar so he can definitely win a race like the Caulfield Cup the way he is going at the moment."

Dunaden also won over the 2400m journey of the Caulfield Cup in the prestigious Group One Hong Kong Vase last December - at his next start after his Melbourne Cup triumph - while at his last run before coming to Melbourne, the Mikel Delzangles trainers galloper finished sixth but beaten less than four lengths over 2414m in England's premier weight-for-age race - the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot in July.

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