Local galloper Zahspeed remains the solid...
Things looked all too easy for Red Cardinal on Saturday as the speedy seven-year-old claimed the Group 2 Sky High Stakes (2000m) in impressive fashion.
On his way to next month’s Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m), Red Cardinal felt the squeeze from the gates to sit last in the early goings, only to relish the heavy conditions winning by 3.5 lengths.
With second place-getter Rodrico running on strongly next to the rails, jockey Kerrin McEvoy chose to take it to the leader over the final furlong, showcasing just how explosive Red Cardinal’s turn of foot really is.
The win marked number two for Red Cardinal and Kris Lees since moving over from Darren Weir’s stable. Lees told reporters after the race he feels lucky to have inherited such a talented runner, and always felt his horse was a chance on the sticky surface.
“We were very fortunate for a horse like him to arrive at the stable, and to arrive in terrific order” Lees said.
“We had a fair idea of how he was going when we first galloped him, especially when he was able to get his toe into the ground. He’s been very fortunate that his two runs for us have been on soft ground which is a much preferred surface for him.”
Lees said he will now take Red Cardinal to the BMW in two week’s time before heading to Randwick to challenge in the Sydney Cup on April 13. Red Cardinal has firmed into a $10.00 chance with Ladbrokes behind Shraaoh and Dubhe.
“He has always been a horse that is highly regarded, he ran in two Melbourne Cups on firm ground, now he is in at the right time. He will probably go to a BMW in fortnight’s time and I think he will hold his own there” Lees said.
Saturday’s win marked Red Cardinal’s third on a wet track after claiming the Parramatta Cup last month on a Soft 7. He still needs to prove himself on the firm, but winning jockey Kerrin McEvoy always knew he was aboard a winner on Saturday.
“He’s been in good form. He’s got some ground that he likes at his last couple. He’s getting his toe in and showing his true form. He’s always been a lovely horse, I rode him in one of his Melbourne Cups out here, so nice to get back on him and get a win on him” McEvoy said.
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