Widely travelled European import Red Cardinal is a shock nomination for the 2018 Group 1 $600,000 Schweppes All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Red Cardinal is yet to compete under 2300m from eleven starts but will kick of his Autumn Carnival campaign for new trainer Darren Weir in the 1400m weight for age event.
Red Cardinal, who has raced in five different countries, will be having his first start this campaign and second run in Australia since pulling up lame after finishing eleventh to Rekindling in the Group 1 $6.25m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington during the 2017 Spring Carnival.
“He pulled up three out of five lame – he injured his knee,” Australian Bloodstock director Jamie Lovett told racing.com.
“It’s been a long road back and obviously we haven’t seen him since the Melbourne Cup so Darren’s just given him a long, slow build-up at the beach and he feels that he’s fit without being near ready to go to a mile and a half just yet.”
Australian Bloodstock director Jamie Lovett, who shares in the ownership of the import, said that the six year old is ready to start his build up for Brisbane Winter Carnival and the 1400m will be a solid grounding for the longer races later in his campaign.
“We’ve got a winter campaign in Brisbane in mind so we have to kick off somewhere and the tracks are still too firm in Melbourne while Randwick’s got a good cover of grass at the moment,” Australian Bloodstock director Jamie Lovett said on Monday.
“The Doomben Cup is a chance but we’re looking at the Brisbane Cup with him.”
Weir has also nominated another of Australian Bloodstock import, former Japanese trained Brave Smash, who also pulled up a bit scratchy following his seventh to Trapeze Artist in the Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) on day one of The Championships at Randwick on April 7.
Brave Smash has won two of his nine starts for Weir, including a win in the Group 1 $500,000 italktravel Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield during the 2018 Melbourne Autumn Carnival.
Three year old Trapeze Artist is among the seventeen nominations for the All Aged Stakes and trainer Gerald Ryan said the Snitzel colt was in great shape to take on the older horses again at weight for age after the beating the nation’s number one sprinter Redzel in the T J Smith Stakes.
“He has come out of the T J Smith really well,” Ryan told AAP.
“Bert has told me the Everest is the plan but we have the All Aged first.
“The horse is bright and well in himself and will be there on Saturday.”
Trapeze Artist will be spelled after the All Aged Stakes before preparing for the Spring which will include a start in the $13m The Everest over the same course and distance as the T J Smith Stakes.
James Cummings has nominated his two highly rated Group 1 performers Hatrnell and It’s Somewhat for the All Aged Stakes.
Hartnell has had a freshen up since running below par when tenth to Harlem in the Group 1 $1.5m Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 10 after what looked like being a fruitful Autumn Carnival after winning first up in the Group 1 $500,000 Ladbrokes C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 10.
Stablemate It’s Somewhat hasn’t been seen since an unsuccessful trip to the west when fifth to Pounamu in the Group 1 $1m Magic Millions-Kingston Town Classic (1800m) at Ascot during the 2017 Perth Summer Carnival.
It’s Somewhat was one of the stars of the 2017 Sydney Autumn Carnival with an all the way win in the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick.
Sydney’s leading trainer Chris Waller’s three All Aged Stakes nominations also began their careers overseas with Japanese import Satono Rasen yet to start for the stable, Irish import Endless Drama is a winner three starts back in the Group 2 $250,000 The Star Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on February 17 and they are joined by the ever consistent Tom Melbourne.
Trainer Kris Lees has nominated his two Group 1 winners Clearly Innocent and Le Romain while Team Hawkes have three year old Showtime entered for the weight for age All Aged Stakes.
Ladbrokes.com.au have Trapeze Artist as the $2.60 favourite in early betting for the 2018 All Aged Stakes ahead of Brave Smash at $7 and Hartnell and Le Romain at $8.50.
Early betting for the 2018 All Aged Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $2.60 Trapeze Artist, $7 Brave Smash, $8.50 Hartnell, Le Romain, $10 Showtime, $12 Tom Melbourne, $16 Muraaqeb, The Mission, $17 Clearly Innocent, It’s Somewhat, $21 Heavens Above, $26 Endless Drama, Satono Rasen, $31 Fell Swoop, $51 Limbo Soul, Red Cardinal, So Si Bon.