Hands on: Dunlop secures Melbourne Cup and looks to Red Verdon to bring it home
Ed Dunlop had the bizarre experience of having the Lexus Melbourne Cup he has been trying to get his hands on for the past decade on his own his breakfast table on Thursday morning.
The appearance of the 18-carat trophy is part of a world tour of the prize which is passing through Newmarket until the weekend when it will be on display at the July festival on Friday and Saturday.
Dunlop famously prepared Red Cadeaux to run in the Melbourne Cup five times between 2011 and 2015, finishing second on three occasions, most notably when beaten just a nose by Dunaden on his first attempt.
After a three-year break, Dunlop is back on the Flemington trail with Red Verdon who was on show to the media together with the cup at Dunlop's La Grange stables on Thursday.
"His owner Ronnie Arculli went close to winning it so may times with Red Cadeaux and we feel Red Verdon has the right profile for the race."
He added: "Red Verdon was Group 1 placed at three and more recently twice at Group 2 level including his second to Crystal Ocean in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot.
"The plan would be to give him one run before going into quarantine which would either be at Goodwood or at Kempton in the September Stakes. The plan then is to run him in the Caulfield Cup before heading for the Melbourne Cup itself."
Amanda Elliott, chairman of the Victoria Racing Club, hosts of the Melbourne Cup, commented: “I am absolutely delighted to be bringing the Cup to the home of horseracing in Britain.
"The town has such a rich connection to the Melbourne Cup, with past European-trained Cup winners including Americain and Protectionist completing their quarantine in Newmarket, and so many Newmarket trainers travelling horses to Flemington every year to compete.”
The next opportunity to see the Melbourne Cup trophy will be this Friday and Saturday at the Moët & Chandon July festival.
Read exclusive previews from 6pm daily on racingpost.com