Dunaden: 2011 Melbourne Cup winner is being aimed at Sheema ClasicPICTURE: AAP Racing
Craig Williams unlikely to keep Dunaden ride
Australia: Melbourne and Caulfield Cup winner Dunaden is back in trainer Mikel Delzangles' stable at Chantilly to prepare for what may be his final campaign. But it is likely it will be without his regular partner Craig Williams.
Delzangles' wife Ann said Dunaden had wintered well and would be aimed at the Dubai World Cup meeting.
"He's just back from his Christmas holidays and is looking wonderful," she said.
Since he partnered Dunaden to win the 2011 Geelong Cup, Williams has ridden the horse another five times in Australia, Europe and Hong Kong.
He has won two races on Dunaden - the 2011 Hong Kong Vase and last year's Caulfield Cup.
But connections have questioned a couple of his rides and were less-than-happy with his effort at the horse's latest appearance in the Hong Kong Vase last month.
Ann Delzangles said only that she didn't expect Williams to be aboard in Dubai.
Delzangles hasn't ruled out another shot at Melbourne's big spring cups with Dunaden, but as an eight year-old by southern hemisphere time it would require a super effort to maintain competitiveness.
If there is an attraction for Delzangles and owner Sheikh Fahad al Thani it could be that Dunaden's best efforts have clearly been in Australia.
In the international classifications released on Wednesday he received a career-high rating of 122 which he earned for his Caulfield Cup win.
Dunaden will be aimed at the Sheema Classic (2400m/1m4f) on World Cup night in March and could return to Royal Ascot in June where he finished a luckless second last year to the Melbourne-bound Sea Moon who was recently bought by Lloyd Williams.