Star French stayer Dunaden overcame both history and an outside barrier draw to become the first ever original topweight to win the Caulfield Cup since the prestigious race began in 1879.


Dunaden is the first original topweight to win the Caulfield Cup. Photo by: Race Horse Photos Australia

Australian jockey Craig Williams produced a first-class ride on the 2011 Melbourne Cup winner from barrier 18, allowing him to settle at the back of the field.

As expected Glencadam Gold and Voila Ici set the early pace before being chased by a wall of horses coming around the home turn.

South Australian veteran Alcopop assumed the lead half way up the straight before Dunaden flew down the outside to claim a half-length win ahead of the Jake Stephens-trained gelding and Lights Of Heaven who finished third.

Stable representative Geoffrey Faber said Dunaden had thrived since arriving in Australia and praised his ability to carry 58kg in the history-breaking win.

“This horse is remarkable, he does remarkable things. He’s broken records today. The first allocated topweight ever to win the Caulfield Cup,” Faber said.

“He’s just extraordinary. He’s just thrived since he’s been at Werribee and that’s been the difference. I think he hates France and just loves Australia.

“He’s just an outstanding horse and what a ride.”

Williams has now secured three wins from four rides aboard Dunaden and showed appreciation to connections for allowing him to ride the horse with whom he said he has a “great affinity.”

“It’s very enjoyable. There’s nothing better than winning races like this but to enjoy horses that you have such a great affinity with and also having great people around you,” Williams said.

“This horse’s story is amazing and it’s about him today. Mikel Delzangles what a trainer.

“I’m very fortunate that I’ve got a great affinity with this horse and they give me the opportunity.”

Fellow French Melbourne Cup winner Americain showed he could be in for another successful Australian campaign as he ran home strongly to claim fourth place.

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