Five-year-old gelding Red Excitement will undoubtedly be a favourite for the Group 3 Carlyon Cup (1600m), which is running at Caulfield Racecourse on Saturday, after an impressive 13 length barrier trial victory last Tuesday.
The Carlyon Cup is one of eight Group races running in Melbourne this weekend, marking the official start of the autumn carnival. Red Excitement however is not resuming as he’s already got two campaign starts under his belt.
He got a tune up at Rosehill last week, putting space between himself and He’s Your Man in the 1300 metre trial. A 13-length victory clearly shows that Red Excitement is in great form heading into the autumn but trainer Gerald Ryan is remaining level-headed and not getting too carried away.
“He couldn’t help but win,” Ryan told Sky Racing.
“He was in front and a lot of the horses behind him were not extended and were backing off him.
“He wasn’t pulling away.
“In saying that he’s in good order and ready for the 1600 metres now.”
Red Excitement won three consecutive handicap races this time last year before a tendon injury forced him off the track for ten months.
The gelding made his return in the Drummond Golf Handicap (1400m) on December 20, proving he hadn’t lost his spark as he won a head in front of Burbero. He then went on to win the Listed Chester Manifold Stakes (1400m) on January 17, just bobbing on the line to win from Tried And Tired.
“He gets his head down low and sticks his neck out. He just wants to win,” Ryan said.
Nominations for the Carlyon Cup will be released shortly but it’s safe to say Red Excitement will be at the top of the field.
The gelding will be without Brenton Avdulla as the jockey is serving a suspension so Mark Zahra will step into the saddle for the first time.
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