Red Cardinal Wins Belmont NY Race Enjoys Early Cup Favourtism
Despite the American Triple Crown, the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes all being run on sacrilegious dirt tracks, there is actually some refined turf racing in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, one recent example being the Grade III Belmont Gold Cup Invitational.
The race was run about a week ago and was won by an Australian Bloodstock owned gelding named Red Cardinal.
The race is basically identical in length to the Melbourne Cup – two miles – in one of the last remaining bastions of uncivilized, non-metric distanced races. It is even run in the same direction as the Melbourne Cup.
The win propelled Red Cardinal into early favourtism for the Melbourne Cup, although there is no guarantee that the five-year-old gelding will be in the field come November.
If he was, he would be taking the same path as 2014 Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist.
In the international era in which thoroughbred racing finds itself, Red Cardinal has Australian owners, is trained in Germany by Andreas Wohler (also trainer of Protectionist), and competes mainly in Europe.
The horse has run nine times and has never failed to place, with five wins, three seconds and one third.
Luke Murrell of Australian Bloodstock gives Red Cardinal a strong chance of making the trip to Oz to run the Cup after being tried in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes at Caulfield in October. Another option would be the Group 1 Caulfield Cup, but that would give Red Cardinal a week’s less recovery time, two instead of three, and let us face facts, the days of horses like Phar Lap, which could run after a sip of water and a quick bite of hay, are forever gone.
When Protectionist ran the Herbert Power in 2014, he could manage only a fourth, but he attracted so much attention with his performance there that he entered the Melbourne Cup as the favourite.