Hong Kong owner eyes Vase start for Red Cadeaux after Melbourne Cup run
Another runner-up effort in Melbourne - to Fiorente - has Ronald Arculli pondering a return to Sha Tin for the seven-year-old stayer
Former Hong Kong Jockey Club chairman Ron Arculli's seven-year-old stayer Red Cadeaux might be on his "Zimmer-frame tour", according to trainer Ed Dunlop, but another runner-up effort in Tuesday's Melbourne Cup has the frequent flier heading back to Sha Tin with a spring in his step.
The A$900,000 (HK$6.64 million) cheque tends to soften the blow of running second and a ¾-length defeat to race favourite Fiorente in the A$6.2 million handicap was certainly easier to take for Arculli than the heartbreaking photo-finish result two years ago.
Red Cadeaux was beaten by Dunaden in 2011 by the narrowest margin in the event's history, but on Tuesday the 50-1 shot was helped by a brilliant ride by Hong Kong-based jockey Gerald Mosse. Second almost seemed like a win.
"Second again! Oh well we can't complain, he has run a great race," Arculli said, before pondering a return for December's Hong Kong Vase, a race the horse won last year. "Let's see how he is in the morning and we will weigh up what we do next. We are very happy right now and will enjoy the moment."
Red Cadeaux has raced in six countries this year and could make it seven if he returns for a third straight international day, which may follow a second tilt at the Japan Cup later in November. The gelding now has more than A$6 million in career earnings, nearly a third of that made up of another lucrative second-place prize earned in the Dubai World Cup earlier this year.
"I'm so proud of my horse," Dunlop said. "He's old. I call this his Zimmer-frame tour and he nearly won again, carrying more weight than two years ago."
Mosse's ride drew high praise from Dunlop. "He's one of the best in the world, even at his age, and that was about as good a ride as you can get without winning a Melbourne Cup," he said.
Mosse managed to gain a one-off spot from barrier 23 before they passed the post for the first time in the 3,200m scramble, then peeled off with a well-timed run as he found a trail to take him into the race. For a few strides it seemed Red Cadeaux could stretch to catch the eventual winner, but as Mosse put it: "He was beaten by the best one."
Red Cadeaux could be joined in the Vase by two other beaten runners, connections indicating that Simenon and Dandino - after they ran home strongly in fourth and fifth, respectively - would be aimed at the race.
Fiorente's win was a breakthrough for Australian Hall of Fame trainer Gai Waterhouse, and a redemptive one for jockey Damien Oliver.
Waterhouse had run second in the race three times previously, while Oliver recently returned from a 10-month ban for betting on a rival horse.
"Didn't he ride him a treat?" Waterhouse said. "I think [choosing Oliver] was the crux. I think it was what won us the cup," said the 59-year-old.
Scotland-born Waterhouse, whose late father Tommy Smith won two Melbourne Cups and remains an icon of Australian racing, ended 20 years of frustration to win Australia's most coveted racing trophy.
"It ticks the best-bucket list ... it's a burning desire [to win it]," she said.