Ed Dunlop eyeing Melb Cup with Red Verdon

By: Tuesday 19 June 2018

Trainer Ed Dunlop is hoping Red Verdon can be the horse to finally deliver a first British-trained winner of the Melbourne Cup.

Dunlop prepared Red Cadeaux to finish second in the Cup three times and the trainer will look to run Red Verdon in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot on Saturday as a stepping stone to Flemington.

"It brings back great memories. We've been beaten two pixels, then had the drama of losing our favourite horse in the race," Dunlop said.

"There have been a lot of emotions in the Melbourne Cup, but predominantly all have been fantastic."

Red Cadeaux suffered a catastrophic leg injury in the 2015 Cup and was euthanised a few weeks later.

That has not dented Dunlop's enthusiasm for the race.

"The challenge is the big thing. It was not something that was really on my radar, it was Ronnie Arculli (owner) who'd had a runner in the race in the past," he said.

"He had a fascination with it and he said 'let's take Red Cadeaux'. It is a special place.

"We are having a lot of discussion about Red Verdon, whether he will get in.

"He is rated 109, so he might need to go up a bit. He could run at Royal Ascot in the Hardwicke to try to guarantee a spot in the race, as the owner is keen to go out there with him.

"The race is getting harder to win, as it is attracting proper Group One horses."