07/14/2014 12:03PM

Melbourne Cup winner Dunaden retired, stud plans to be determined

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Shigeki Kikkawa
Dunaden earned more than $8.3 million throughout his racing career.

Globe-trotting Dunaden, winner of the 2011 Melbourne Cup, was retired on Monday by owner Sheikh Fahad al-Thani. Racing Post reported that the 8-year-old Nicobar horse suffered a setback while training for a return to racing, and that stud plans would be determined in the coming weeks.

Out of the unraced Kaldounevees mare La Marlia, modestly-bred Dunaden sold for only 2,000 euros as a weanling in his native France and raced with little distinction until late in 2010 , when he was purchased by Sheikh Fahad’s Pearl Bloodstock and won a listed stakes in France. Dunaden was transferred to trainer Mikel Delzangles in early 2011, and over the next three years competed almost exclusively in group stakes, taking the 2011 Hong Kong Vase and Melbourne Cup and the 2012 Caulfield Cup for his top-level wins.

Dunaden finished ninth in the Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic on March 29 in his final career start. He concludes his career with 10 wins from 46 starts, earned more than $8.3 million, and he was voted Australia’s champion stayer of 2012.

“In winning the Melbourne Cup, Dunaden gave me the most exciting day’s racing I have ever had,” Sheikh Fahad told Racing Post. “He has been a dream horse to own, and has taken us all over the world. … His career has played a vital role in the evolution of Qatar Racing, an operation which now has over 200 horses in training worldwide.”