Red Cardinal (IRE) (Montjeu) and jockey Eduardo Pedroza win the Belmont Gold Cup (Gr III) at Belmont Park 6/9/17. Trainer: Andreas Wohler. Owner: Australian Bloodstock Syndicate
Australian Bloodstock’s Red Cardinal, bred in Ireland but trained in Germany, shipped to the United States and came up big with a win in Friday’s Grade 3 Belmont Gold Cup Invitational over the marathon distance of two miles on the turf course. Ridden by four-time champion German jockey Eduardo Pedroza for his first win in the U.S., the 5-year-old gelding by Montjeu exploded in the lane and held off St Michel at the wire to win by a neck. Trained by Andreas Wohler, Red Cardinal stopped the clock in 3:18.79 over Belmont’s firm turf.
“My plan was to go in the middle of the field and let him be behind horses,” said Pedroza. “He was very relaxed. He gave me a good feeling all the way. He went very easy [and] was feeling very good today. I waited for a long time to ask my horse. The other horses looked like they were getting a little bit tired coming around the corner, and I said I would wait a little bit more so I could make the move. I could do that because he has good acceleration. I asked him one time and he came back and [I] waited a little bit more. The second time I asked, he went very easy. He has good acceleration, so he can do that.”
Roman Approval was very fast for the distance leaving the starting gate, streaking out to a 15-length lead through early fractions of :24.95 and :47.76. Rosario brought him back to the field, where he was tracked by Wall of Fire, Farz and Bullard’s Alley, in the backstretch for the second time. Meanwhile, Red Cardinal was covered up behind a pair of horses in mid-pack while St Michel was just behind him. Wicklow Brave and Clondaw Warrior were at the rear of the field.
In the far turn Pedroza moved Red Cardinal to the outside, then was carried nearly five-wide making the final part of the turn for home. The big-bodied gelding lengthened his stride impressively to take the lead near the eighth pole, and while St Michel came flying to try to make a race of the final 100 yards, Red Cardinal had just enough left to hold off that rival by a neck on the wire. Now We Can got up for third, and Clondaw Warrior was fourth.
Bred in Ireland by Lynch Bages Ltd., Red Cardinal owned a Group 2 victory and several group placings from eight starts in Europe. The Gold Cup win improves his record to five wins, three seconds and a third from nine starts, with earnings of over $ 340,000.
“The main target is that first Tuesday in November [the Melbourne Cup on November 7],” Wohler said. “He’ll probably have his next race in France. He then could race in Germany or in Australia itself. We want to give him a little break before he comes back. He’ll be fresh for the campaign then.”
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