MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 03: Ed Dunlop trained Red Verdon gallops during a trackwork session at Werribee Racecourse on October 3, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 03: Ed Dunlop trained Red Verdon gallops during a trackwork session at Werribee Racecourse on October 3, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images)

Big Red out to break Dunlop’s Cup duck

ED Dunlop has endured more than his share of heartbreaking Australian Group 1 denials - and tragedy.

Red Cadeaux's three Melbourne Cup seconds, before his subsequent death following a fifth attempt, and Trip To Paris' runner-up effort in the Caulfield Cup have left Dunlop with an unwanted bridesmaid's reputation.

Dunlop's loyal travelling foreman Robin Trevor Jones has lived through the bittersweet peaks of those close shaves and the desolation of Red Cadeaux's death in 2015.

Yet, for all those travails, and the gruelling 90-hour flight to Australia, Trevor Jones firmly believes Red Verdon is the horse to finally turn Dunlop's fortunes in Saturday's Caulfield Cup.

To be ridden by Hong Kong-based Zac Purton - who won the 2014 Caulfield Cup on Admire Rakti - Red Verdon has drawn barrier nine.

According to Trevor Jones, the emerging stayer is flying.

"We had a bit of a traumatic journey here but he's absolutely thrived there, never seen a horse turn, look so well so quickly," he said. "His training has been good. Steve (Nicholson), his work rider, has been really happy with him.

 

Trainer Ed Dunlop will bank on Red Verdon in the Caulfield Cup. Picture: Jay Town.
Trainer Ed Dunlop will bank on Red Verdon in the Caulfield Cup. Picture: Jay Town.

 

"Everything's going great at the moment.

"Red Cadeaux, when he came to Australia, you couldn't believe the improvement. He loved that track at Flemington.

"This fellow has great form in England. The Hardwicke (Stakes) form (second, beating home The Cliffsofmoher) is fantastic.

"He's a proper Group 1 horse in England, so we're very hopeful."

 

Red Verdojn has thrived at Werribee. Picture: Getty Images
Red Verdojn has thrived at Werribee. Picture: Getty Images

 

Red Verdon has not raced since running fifth to champion stayer Stradivarius in the Group 2 Lonsdale Cup at York in August.

Dunlop said Red Verdon, who has five wins, nine seconds and a third from 24 starts, has a better turn of foot to Trip To Paris.

"He's similar to Trip To Paris but this horse has probably more speed than Trip To Paris," he said. Red Verdon is a TAB $21 chance.

 

CAULFIELD CUP (2400m)

Caulfield, Saturday 4.40pm

1 Best Solution (Saeed Bin Suroor) P Cosgrave (17) 57.5kg

2 The Cliffsofmoher (Aidan O'Brien) H Bowman (3) 56.5kg

3 Chestnut Coat (Yoshito Yahagi) Y Kawada (13) 55.5kg

4 Jon Snow (Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman) D M Lane (15) 55.5kg

5 Sound Check (Michael Moroney) J Childs (16) 55.5kg

6 Ace High (David Payne) D Oliver (8) 55kg

7 The Taj Mahal (Liam Howley) J B McDonald (19) 55kg

8 Duretto (Andrew Balding) D Dunn (1) 54.5kg

9 Red Verdon (Ed Dunlop) Z Purton (9) 54kg

10 Vengeur Masque (Michael Moroney) P M Moloney (7) 54kg

11 Ventura Storm (David & B Hayes & T Dabernig) R Bayliss (11) 54kg

12 Mighty Boss (Mick Price) T Clark (14) 53.5kg

13 Homesman (Liam Howley) B J Melham (4) 53kg

14 Kings Will Dream (Darren Weir) C Williams (6) 53kg

15 Sole Impact (Hirofumi Toda) R Sakai (a0) (20) 53kg

16 Gallic Chieftain (Darren Weir) D Yendall (2) 52.5kg

17 Night's Watch (Darren Weir) B Allen (a0) (18) 52kg

18 Youngstar (Chris Waller) K McEvoy (10) 51.5kg

19e Patrick Erin (Chris Waller) C Brown (12) 52kg

20e Jaameh (David & B Hayes & T Dabernig) C J Parish (5) 50kg



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