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Red Cardinal backed into Melbourne Cup favouritism

Tue, Jun 13, 12:28pm by Senior Writer

We may be nearly five months out from the Melbourne Cup, but punters are clambering to get on European raider Red Cardinal, who has been backed in to favouritism for the $6 million race after winning in the United States over the weekend.

Red Cardinal, owned and trained in the same interests as 2014 Cup winner Protectionist, won the Group 2 Belmont Gold Cup in New York, boosting his chances of coming for Australia’s most famous race.

German trainer Andreas Wohler has earmarked an almost identical path to Flemington for Red Cardinal as he did with Protectionist. Red Cardinal will likely contest the Prix Kergolay in France before coming to Australia and having one lead-up run.

That would be in the Herbert Power Handicap at Caulfield, the same race Protectionist ran third in before romping away to win the Melbourne Cup by four lengths.

Red Cardinal is now $15 favourite, two points ahead of Godolphin’s Francis of Assisi, while Lloyd Williams’ import Crocodile Rock is $21 third favourite.

Defending champion Almandin, also owned by Williams, is $26, the same price as Sydney Cup winner Polarisation.

The winner of last weekend’s Queensland Derby, Ruthven, is $34, while impressive Queensland Oaks winner Egg Tart is priced at $26.

Kiwi star Jon Snow, the winner of the Australian Derby, is $41 in Sportsbet markets, the same price as Rosehill Guineas and New Zealand Derby winner Gingernuts, who was behind him and Ruthven in the Derby.

First nominations for the Melbourne Cup won’t be taken until early September.

In terms of the Caulfield Cup, there are three horses at the top of the market, Egg Tart, Francis of Assisi and Australian Cup winner Humidor, who are all $17.

Gingernuts heads a list of horses at $21, while Red Cardinal is $41.

The Cox Plate market sees Winx at an unprecedented $1.60 to win her third straight Australasian weight for age championship.

Never has a horse been so short for a spring feature so early in the year.

Her old rival Hartnell, beaten so many times by the champion mare, is second favourite at $21.

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