Amazing Red could continue the strong family tradition in the Melbourne Cup
A half-brother to three-time Melbourne Cup (Gr 1, 3200m) place-getter Red Cadeaux (Cadeaux Genereux), Amazing Red carries the same light blue and red diamond silks of owner Ronnie Arculli and while his somewhat truncated career thus far has not quite produced the results his connections might have hoped for, this was a coming-of-age performance from a horse who looks set to continue on an upward trajectory now the pieces are beginning to fall into place with him.
In defeating the Richard Hughes-trained Golden Wolf (Big Bad Bob) by three and a half lengths, Amazing Red ran to a mark of at least 100 under Frankie Dettori – a clear personal best and the first time he has reached a three-figure rating. However, this performance was as much about the way Amazing Red went about his business as it was the winning margin, the son of Teofilo (Galileo) travelling powerfully off the solid early fractions, looming into contention two furlongs out and readily quickening clear once meeting the rising ground before being eased close home in what was ultimately a facile success.
Although this race did not take as much winning in reality as it might have done on paper beforehand as favourite Addicted To You (Medicean) jinked and unseated Harry Bentley shortly after the start, which subsequently hampered the 2017 runner-up Byron Flyer (Byron), who was then nursed home by Ryan Moore, it is still easy to be positive about the piece of form as a whole.
The runner-up has been steadily progressive over a mile and a half, shaping like he would be suited by this step up in trip, while the third, Alqamar (Dubawi), and the fourth, Fire Jet (Ask), were ahead of Amazing Red when the trio met on the Rowley Mile last month, although Amazing Red did not handle the dip very well on that occasion and he looks much better suited by this course having also won here last summer. Alqamar and Fire Jet produced similar performances off their revised handicap marks, suggesting they have run their races once more, while the fourth-placed horse from their previous encounter, the Harry Fry-trained Shraaoh (Sea The Stars), defeated a progressive rival when winning at Goodwood on Friday, adding further substance to this line of form.
Amazing Red also warrants a mark-up on his winning performance given he raced freely though the early stages of the contest – he initially settled for Dettori but was bumped as the drama unfolded with Addicted To You and became lit up thereafter, although this did not prevent him from finishing his race with real vigour. Over-exuberance in the first half of his races proved a downfall for Amazing Red during his younger years, but he looks a more tractable model now and he can certainly be forgiven for running keenly on Saturday given this was a by-product of broader circumstances.
By winning at the weekend, Amazing Red has picked up a 5lb penalty for the Northumberland Plate (2m) at Newcastle later this month and if there are sufficient defectors to allow him to sneak into the bottom of this very valuable prize, he would certainly head into this race favourably handicapped as this win suggested he is capable of producing stakes-level performances over staying trips. What’s more, he remains unexposed over two miles having run only once over the distance in his life – winning at Kempton in May – while he has run creditably at Newcastle previously and the prospect of a strong early gallop would certainly play to his strengths.
Although Amazing Red has a long way to go before he matches the exploits of his illustrious sibling, connections must surely be thinking of the Melbourne Cup for him and although he would need to elevate his rating considerably as well as finish in the first four in Pattern company to pass the ballot for the race, there remains plenty of time for him to do so.
Despite being famed for his exploits at Flemington in the second-half of his racing life, Red Cadeaux was something of a slow burner throughout his earlier years and it is interesting how the career paths of both he and Amazing Red have followed similar trajectories.
Red Cadeaux was unraced as a juvenile and broke his maiden in the June of his three-year-old season. He was gelded ahead of his four-year-old campaign in 2010 and while he won once and improved 9lb across the course of that year, he did not really hint at his future capabilities until bolting up in the Curragh Cup (Gr 3, 1m6f) by nine lengths the following year, incidentally the June of his five-year-old campaign. That was his twentieth start (Amazing Red has run fourteen times) and he would continue to improve for at least another year, while he recorded a peak Racing Post Rating of 119 on seven separate occasions, initially when finishing runner-up in his first Melbourne Cup at the age of five and lastly when occupying the same position in the race three seasons later as an eight-year-old stalwart of the race.
Progression with maturity is a theme that runs throughout the family as both Red Cadeaux and Amazing Red are out of the Peintre Celebre (Nureyev) mare Artisia, who herself is a half-sister to Military Attack (Oratorio), a top-notch performer in Hong Kong and Japan who won three Group One contests in the space of three months as a five-year-old in 2013. Given his profile, his pedigree and the quality of his performance on Saturday, this could just be the beginning for Amazing Red.
Calyx provides exciting young sire Kingman with his first winner
At the contrasting end of the precocity spectrum, the most exhilarating performance of the week came from the John Gosden-trained two-year-old Calyx (Kingman), who became the first winner for his sire when scooting clear in the juvenile novice stakes (6f) at Newmarket on Saturday, beating debut winner Octave (Dawn Approach) by five lengths with a further six lengths back to expensive newcomer Khaadem (Dark Angel) in third.
Calyx raced exuberantly through the early stages before quickening up really well when asked the question by Robert Havlin and he looks a very smart juvenile prospect already. Connections were keen to let the dust settle after the race before committing to a plan moving forward, but a clash with Sergei Prokofiev (Scat Daddy) in the Coventry Stakes (Gr 2, 6f) at Royal Ascot would be one of the races of the week.