Melbourne Cup 2013: Fiorente wins as British team come up short again

Hopes that the Melbourne Cup would be won by a British horse for the first time are snubbed out as favourite wins by a length

Red Cadeaux, Ronnie Arculli’s globetrotting warrior, battled his heart out for another second in Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup at Flemington, but his effort begs the question: just when will a British stable be able to crack it in Australia’s showcase race?
It was the seventh time in two decades of trying that a horse trained in Britain had been runner-up, and while it is enormous consolation that the eight-year-old picked up £600,000 for his trouble, it remains a puzzle why the Irish (twice), French (twice) and Japanese have all pulled it off, yet the UK, for some reason, remains deprived of triumph in this intriguing race.
Of course, the winner Fiorente, now trained by Gai Waterhouse, was formerly with Sir Michael Stoute at Newmarket, so there is no problem with British yards sourcing the right material. Also, with ambitious trainers pitching up, such as Ed Dunlop, Luca Cumani, Saeed bin Suroor and Marco Botti, all noted for successfully travelling horses abroad, there is no lack of expertise.
Yet, it is almost as if the racing gods have conspired to prevent it happening, at least that is what may reasonably be concluded after seeing Red Cadeaux, in his third attempt to lift the Cup, take second for the second time, again in the most heroic style.
“I was so disappointed with his last run in Ireland [he finished fourth, beaten 11 lengths by Voleuse de Coeurs in the Irish St Leger] that I was calling this his Zimmer-frame tour,” Ed Dunlop explained.
“But as soon as he gets on a plane, he’s a different horse. I am so proud of him. He’ll go to Japan and Hong Kong, and he could be back here again next year,” the trainer explained. The third, the Cumani-trained Mount Athos, had every chance under an enterprising ride from Craig Williams, and the fourth, the Willie Mullins-trained Simenon, looked a winning chance for a couple of strides in the home straight and is now in line for a crack at the Japan Cup.
Dandino ran another fine race for fifth, while Tom Dascombe reported Brown Panther (eighth) well enough despite sustaining a superficial gash to a leg. Those missing out on a share of the prize money were Godolphin’s Royal Empire (14th) and early leader Ruscello (24th).
For Waterhouse, 59, this was the fulfilment of a life-long ambition. The flamboyant, high-profiled daughter of Tommy Smith, the 33-time Sydney champion, rebutted suggestions that she might retire. Asked whether she preferred the role of grandmother or trainer, she replied: “I can do both.”
She continued: “I thought of Dad this morning, how he would be feeling, having the favourite in the Cup. The internationalisation of the race has been a good thing. It has brought greater exposure to Australian racing.”
Damien Oliver, the winning jockey, was landing his third Cup. The victory comes just under a year since he was banned for placing a $10,000 bet (£5,900) on a rival horse in a Melbourne race. For the former champion, it helped mend some fences with punters here.
Sadly, the Aga Khan's Verema broke down at the mile and a quarter pole and had to be put down.