Dual Melbourne Cup runner Red Cardinal stamped his credentials for the 2019 Sydney Cup with an impressive win in the Group 3 $350,000 Schweppes Sky High Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill today.
Red Cardinal made it two wins from two starts for his new trainer Kris Lees and the European import really appreciated the soft conditions today and is on track for the Group 1 $2m Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m) at Randwick on April 13.
“We were very fortunate for a horse like him to arrive at the stable, and to arrive in terrific order. It was a matter of just getting him to the races and he has delivered both times,” 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.”
Red Cardinal came from near the tail of the field to win first up in the Listed $140,000 Parramatta Cup (1900m) at Rosehill three weeks ago and he had to do the same today after getting a slight squeeze at the start.
Kerrin McEvoy bided his time and brought Red Cardinal ($3.80 favourite) with a sweeping run down the middle of the track to collar the runner up Rodrico ($11) who was sticking to the inside fence.
Third placegetter Goathland ($8) raced in a forward position and stuck on in the straight to hold down third spot.
Lees said that he will give Red Cardinal one more run before the Sydney Cup in the Group 1 $1.5m KIA Tancred Stakes (2400m) at Rosehill on March 30.
“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 (Tancred Stakes) in fortnight’s time and I think he will hold his own there.”
Red Cardinal has firmed in from $15 to be on the third line of betting at $10 for the Sydney Cup with Ladbrokes.com.au.