The European road to the Kentucky Derby takes in the Cardinal Stakes at Chelmsford for the first time on Thursday (April 11) when potential European Kentucky Derby contenders have a final chance to book a place in Kentucky on May 4. The Cardinal Stakes is a conditions-stakes that takes place over a mile, and this will be the first edition of a race that replaces the Burradon Stakes, which used to be run at Newcastle.
That means there are no trends for this race, but you can check out our runner-by-runner guide and free tips for the Cardinal Stakes.
Cardinal Stakes 2019 Runner-By-Runner Guide
Aidan O’Brien-trained runner who ran four times as a two-year-old over seven furlongs. He made little impact in three runs in maidens but finished his season by winning a handicap off a mark of 80. He’s now rated 87 and needs to have made significant improvement from two to three to win. Possible pacemaker for stable’s other runner.
Well-placed to win what looked a weak Listed race in France in February and couldn’t cut it against similarly rated rivals in another Listed Race at Dundalk last time. Finished behind two Aidan O’Brien trained runners that day and has something to find on official ratings with several of his rivals.
Battle Of Waterloo
Worse than midfield in two runs on turf as a two-year-old but took well to the polytrack here at Chelmsford when winning over seven furlongs on his third start. Still needs to find a lot more improvement to be troubling the best of these.
Bye Bye Hong Kong
Won at the second time of asking last season and then ran creditably in Group 2 and Group 3 Races on his final two starts, finishing one place in front of Dark Vision in the first of those. What makes him interesting today, on his first run on the all-weather, is he’s by the American sire Street Sense who won the 2007 Kentucky Derby. That means he could improve for the switch to an artificial surface.
Won his first two starts, but was then outclassed at both Group and Listed level in three starts afterwards. Only has a few pounds to find with the principles but others are open to more improvement.
Won his first three starts last season including the Group 2 Vintage Stakes at Glorious Goodwood. May have had an off day when finishing last in the Champagne Stakes on his final start but his early form does not look as strong now as it did at the time. His sire Dream Ahead also has a below average record on the all-weather.
Beaten slightly further by Artic Sound than Bye Bye Hong Kong was last season and was getting six pounds on that occasion. However, he’s race-fit and ran okay when second at Lingfield on his seasonal reappearance.
A shock 33/1 winner on his second start last season but he won that race by five lengths. Second has been beaten since though and he has something to find against horses of this calibre.
US S Michigan
Won his second start six-weeks ago over six furlongs at Dundalk and, though he’s highly-regarded by Aidan O’Brien, he only beat a 74-rated horse there. Should be suited by stepping up to a mile and Ryan Moore rides.
Cardinal Stakes 2019 Verdict
US S Michigan could be a typical late-improving Aidan O’Brien-trained three-year-old but he will have to take his form to a whole new level to win this. That’s why the play could be an each-way bet on Bye Bye Hong Kong. He’s already shown a decent level of form on turf, but his sire suggests he could be even better on the all-weather. Trainer Andrew Balding his also having a good year, whilst jockey Silvestre De Souza has ridden four winners from eight rides for the stable.
Cardinal Stakes Free Tip: