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The Championships International Raiders

 Apr 2 2015

Sydney’s Autumn Carnival and ultimately The Championships themselves haven’t quite matched Melbourne’s spring as far as International equine visitors are concerned but given the relative infancy of the newly formed festival the strength of the visiting team has already been felt with the success of Real Impact in the G1 George Ryder Stakes.

It is an essentially an Asian challenge this year as well – Red Cadeaux may have all his fan mail sent to Newmarket in the UK but is on the road (or in the air so much) is basically of no fixed abode these days and is as familiar to Australian race fans as any horse stabled with any of our leading trainers.

In terms to finding a new angle with the 3 time Melbourne Cup runner up are concerned, your time might be better spent elsewhere, however for the record:

 Ed Dunlop’s globetrotting son of Cadeaux Generaux has raced at the highest level no fewer than 20 times in his 49 start race career to date and been placed in the first 4 on 11 occasions, but hasn’t actually won since December 2012 when lifting the G1 Hong Kong Vase. Since then though the 9yo has been placed in a Dubai World Cup, Tenno Sho Spring and 2 Melbourne Cups plus most recently finished 5th to Spillway in the Australian Cup only beaten 2 3/4L over an inadequate 2000m at his beloved Flemington.

Weights and measures go out of the window with Red Cadeaux, the Melbourne Cup has been, so far, a bridge too far, but a must for exotics, and who’s to say at start 50 the Sydney Cup might be a maiden Australian success.

Dominant has a few things in common with Red Cadeaux. Not disgraced on his Australian debut when 3 ½l behind Contributor in the Ranvet stakes over a trip short of his best and also much like his air miles rich rival doesn’t win all that often. John Moore’s 7yo last win was also in the Hong Kong Vase back in 2013 (Red Cadeaux 4th) but has also run some good races in defeat, including 2 starts back when only 1/4L behind Designs On Rome in the Centenary Vase, albeit only over 1800m. The 3200m has to be a question mark in the Sydney Cup having never attempted the 2 miles previously.

There’s good reason that every time a Japanese horse turns up on the world stage the term you “you have to respect the Japanese” gets trotted out. The standard of the domestic racing is obviously first class but they do have a happy knack of selecting the right horses to travel. Melbourne and Caulfield Cups wins and Hana’s Goal at last year’s autumn carnival in the All Aged Stakes.

Real Impact scored first up in the George Ryder with a gritty determined win, his on pace style certainly wasn’t aided by a wide draw in the Doncaster but James McDonald has a very willing partner. A win in the G1 Yasuda Kinen reads very well but that was back in 2011 – he’s recent (Japanese) form doesn’t  read as well but you’d be foolish to dismiss the Deep Impact entire completely.

World Ace will join him in the Doncaster and was, to many, flatly disappointing in the George Ryder. The start prior the 6yo (also by Deep Impact) had chased home one of the world’s best Miler’s in Able Friend – he does have a habit of standing still when the gates open so certainly won’t be on pace but instead looking for luck on the turn and staying on in the straight, you might need more than luck to win this year’s Doncaster.

To The World was / is the headline act and the poster boy for the Japanese Challenge. Although Hartnell dealt the 4yo a blow when handing the Classic placed colt a 1 1/4l defeat in the BMW he should be sharper for the outing. A start in a star studded Queen Elizabeth is certainly something to look forward to and a clash with Hartnell’s stable mate in Contributor but will a drop back to 2000m play to his advantage? A narrow defeat behind Gentildonna just after Christmas certainly reads well but that was staying on over 2500m…. a few fingers would have been burnt at Rosehill last time out and it may be a case of once bitten twice shy for punters, but don’t forget…… You have to respect the Japanese!


Andrew Le Jeune - Sky Racing

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