Popular racing personality Ron Dufficy has celebrated a win with Verdant on Melbourne Cup day and is already looking ahead to next year.
The Robert Smerdon-trained Verdant won the race often called the Cup consolation, the Lavazza Long Black (2800m) in a track record 2:52.40.
Dufficy, a well known punter and commentator for Sky Racing, is part of a syndicate put together by Hong Kong-based David Price who sourced the English stayer last year.
Ridden by Dwayne Dunn, Verdant ($7.50) came from well back with favourite Garud ($3.60) to battle it out down the Flemington straight.
Verdant proved the superior stayer, stretching out to beat Garud by 1-1/4 lengths with Practiced ($5) another length third.
“I am a small part of a big syndicate and we are aiming at next year’s Cup,” Dufficy said.
“And I did have a good bet on him because the trainer said to.
“David Price found him for us in Europe with a view to the Melbourne Cup.”
The winner of four restricted races in Europe, Verdant claimed his first Australian win over 3000m at Moonee Valley on October 26 at his fifth start for Smerdon.