Horses To Follow » Dunaden


There has been quite a lot of talk already about Dunaden after the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot on Saturday, but he really was unlucky given how things conspired against him.

Mikel Delzangles’s horse was travelling right in behind the front few as they prepared to swing for home, he got stuck in traffic on the crown of the home turn as horses moved up on his outside and Jakkalberry poked up the rail on his inside, and he then got shuffled back even more when Memphis Tennessee fell right back into his lap. Christophe Lemaire tried to get him running again early in the home straight and the horse was making ground just inside the final quarter of a mile, Lemaire angled towards the outside around Hunter’s Light but he got squeezed out of it again as Red Cadeaux moved up on his outside. He had to pull out once more and, when he did, he picked up impressively to get up for second, ahead of Red Cadeaux and behind Sea Moon, pulling clear of Aiken in fourth.

He was never going to catch Sea Moon given everything that had gone against him in the race, but he might well have won had he had even a slightly clearer passage. You certainly couldn’t be sure that he wouldn’t have done, and his superiority over the rest would have been far greater.

The son of Nicobar is not lacking in stamina – he gave weight and a beating to Red Cadeaux in the Melbourne Cup – but he is top class over a mile and a half as well, almost certainly even better than he has shown to date, and there could yet be a really big race in him over this trip. It is not a vintage crop of three-year-olds this year, one or two notable exceptions apart, and Dunaden has to be of interest for the King George and even the Arc de Triomphe now. Of course, he may be even better if he steps back up in trip too.

20th June 2012