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Dunaden, Who Won The Closest Melbourne Cup In History, Is Dead

2011 Melbourne Cup winner Dunaden has died after a paddock accident. He was 13.

The French galloper's name is etched in Melbourne Cup folklore, and not just for winning the race in 2011, but because of the manner in which he did it.

Dunaden and English horse Red Cadeaux cleared out from the field about 200 metres from the famous Flemington winning post. Red Cadeaux clearly hit the front at one point. But Dunaden fought back under desperate urging from French jockey Christophe Lemaire.

The official margin of victory was "a nose" -- the smallest margin there is. To many, it looked more like a pixel.

That's Dunaden (largely obscured) on the inside, with the jockey in yellow silks. Image: Getty.

For Red Cadeaux, it would be the first of three Melbourne Cup runner-up finishes -- he also came second in 2013 and 2014, and was buried at Flemington after he died in 2015.

Dunaden also became a favourite with Aussie punters. He returned to Melbourne in 2012 to capture the Caulfield Cup and finished his racing career with 10 wins and 20 placings from his 46 starts.

Dunaden's death in England overnight was announced by his owner Qatar Racing.

Dunaden was renowned for being both talented and highly intelligent, and we reckon he's probably organising a re-match with Red Cadeaux in horsey heaven right now, just to prove the 2011 Melbourne Cup win was no fluke.