Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 31 August 2014

We’ll be back to win it: Dunlop

Wizards of Oz: Jockey Christophe Lemaire (left) and trainer Mikel Delzangles kiss the Melbourne Cup after Dunaden's win yesterday

Newmarket trainer Ed Dunlop has vowed to return next year with Red Cadeaux after losing by a nose to French stayer Dunaden in the Melbourne Cup yesterday.

“If he's OK, we'll be back next year,” confirmed Dunlop.

“I thought he wouldn't like the ground and with a little more juice he'd have beaten the other horse,” he said.

“I was watching it with Luca Cumani and he thought I'd won but the best I thought we'd got would have been a dead heat.

“You don't like to be second but I've come all the way down here for the first time so you have to be delighted and it has been a great experience.”

In America, meanwhile, daybreak yesterday must have introduced an environment at once strange and familiar.

No less, in their own walk of life, than when others see for the first time the passage of yellow taxis through Manhattan, or gondolas beneath the Bridge of Sighs.

As their respective horses returned from track to quarantine barn, night was draining into the eastern rim of a world Roger Varian and Alan McCabe had visited only in dreams, and the iconic spires emerged above the grandstand as though in austere reproof of the unseasoned daring of these voyagers from afar.

Here were two young trainers trying to set their bearings for the giddiest opportunities of their respective careers to date.

And it just so happens that the return of the Breeders' Cup to Churchill Downs affords them the most iconic landmark on the American Turf, home of the Kentucky Derby itself.

Both Varian and McCabe protested themselves very much at home. The former cut his teeth as a teenager riding trackwork in California; the latter sampled American methods under Eoin Harty in Dubai.

But it is by dint of their achievements on home soil that they truly belong.

McCabe, in his fifth season, has made an unequivocal breakthrough in wringing such improvement from Casper Netscher; Varian, in his first, has proved a worthy heir to his mentor, Michael Jarvis. He arrives with two live chances of crowning one of the great rookie campaigns — Faraaj, who meets Casper Netscher in the Juvenile Turf on Saturday, and Nahrain, who takes her unbeaten record into the Filly and Mare Turf the previous evening.

Nahrain gave Varian his first Group One success in the Prix de l'Opera a fortnight after Jarvis was finally claimed by the cancer that obliged him to hand over his Newmarket yard last winter.

“It's a shame he wasn't around to see the filly win in Paris,” Varian said.

Meanwhile, the racing Levy for the next financial year is expected to yield £72.4million, with fixtures down by 30 to 1,450 for 2012.

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