It is perhaps more commentary of the state of Australian Thoroughbred racing than anything else that finds Red Cardinal second favourite for Saturday’s running of the Group 1 The BMW at Rosehill.
This import with an Irish sire and a British dam snuck onto a boat to Australia for the 2017 Melbourne Cup. He was given a top hoop in Kerrin McEvoy but could produce only an 11th place finish.
He did not run again for the better part of a year, coming out for the Group 2 Lawrence Stakes at Caulfield to finish dead last.
The record for Red Cardinal has not raised many eyebrows.
He placed third on a heavy Randwick course in October of 2018 when he carried Brenton Avdulla in the Listed St. Leger Stakes.
Red Cardinal had a chance in the Moonee Valley Cup later that same month and watched 10 finish in front of him. There are far too many “11s” by this horse’s name, as in “11th of…”
Yet, there he was in the Melbourne Cup again in 2018, where he avoided last position only because of the complete breakdown of The Cliffsofmoher. This go, McEvoy wanted no part and he chose wisely, because he took the win onboard Cross Counter.
They somehow persuaded McEvoy to take that last ride in the Sky High, and McEvoy will again be in the irons for the BMW, or the Kia Tancred Stakes, as the German maker of fine cars has been supplanted by an Asian maker of economy cars.
The state of staying races in Australia is dismal and this race could be improved by getting two sprinters and letting them each run 1200 metres, relay style.
Surprise wins in the Listed Parramatta Cup (1900 m) and the Group 3 Sky High Stakes (1900 m), both at Rosehill on heavy tracks, much as the conditions will be Saturday, have him quoted at $6, behind only Avilius