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Melbourne Cup Winner Dunaden Retired

Melbourne Cup Winner Dunaden Retired

14.07.2014, by Jim
Melbourne Cup Winner Dunaden Retired&h=223&w=348&zc=1

Dunaden was once described by owner Sheikh Fahad Al Thani as a ‘dream horse’. He won the 2011 Melbourne Cup and at age 8 his connections were hoping for several more competitive years out of the horse. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen–Dunaden has been retired after what is being described as a ‘setback in training’.

At this point it’s unclear what exactly happened to necessitate Dunaden’s retirement but it’s not life threatening and plans are being made to retire him to what will undoubtedly be a lucrative stud career. Dunaden ran his last race in March finishing ninth behind Gentildonna in the Dubai Sheema Classic. He was very competitive last year running second to St Nicholas Abbey in the Coronation Cup at Epsom and behind Novellist in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud. Older horses can be very competitive in races like the Melbourne Cup but as they age they’re like professional prizefighters–they can be competitive one day and ‘over the hill’ the next.

Much like 2014 Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome there was little to suggest that Dunaden was destined for greatness. He was purchased as a foal for €1,500 and went through four trainers for his original owner. He was sold to David Redvers almost out of desperation and moved to trainer Mikel Delzangles where he suddenly caught fire, rocketing to superstardom in 2011. For his career he won well over €5 million–a very tidy ‘return on investment’ to say the least. Sheikh Fahad Al Thani would buy him later in his career and Dunaden is given much credit for the growth and legitimacy of Quatar racing. Sheikh Fahad says that it was Dunaden who got his brothers interested in horse racing–a sport which they have since pursued with passion and vigor.

Racing Victoria’s Leigh Jordon, who is charged with recruiting top foreign race horses to come to Australia, said that his retirement was ‘sad’ for Australian racing calling him ‘one of the most popular and recognized’ horses in the country. Jordon concluded by praising Dunaden’s great racing career which included becoming only the second French bred winner of the Melbourne Cup in history.

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