Andreas Wohler

Andreas Wohler (Image: Darren McNamara)

Red Cardinal races into Emirates Melbourne Cup contention

Red Cardinal booked himself a ticket to Australia for the Emirates Melbourne Cup with overnight success in a 3200m Group 2 race in Germany.

Owned by Australian Bloodstock and trained by Andreas Wohler, who raced 2014 Emirates Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist, Red Cardinal made his seasonal return in the Oleander-Rennen at Hoppegarten, defeating Nearly Caught and San Salvador.

Co-owner Jamie Lovett was obviously delighted with the performance, which now sets the wheels in motion to plan for a trip to Melbourne for the spring.

"That should get him in to the Melbourne Cup now, he is now past the ballot clause and his rating should get high enough," Lovett said.

"Andreas has had the horse in work for some time and he was well prepared for last night so to see him pull it off is very encouraging.

"It was a decent form race, the favourite was Nearly Caught, who won the Kergorlay, which we know is a race that has been a terrific guide to Melbourne features in the past."

Lovett said the intention is for Red Cardinal to have possibly three runs before travelling to Melbourne for the spring.

His campaign could include a race in New York, followed by the Hansa-Preis in Germany and the Prix Kergorlay in France.

"Winning the race in Germany last night has provided entry to an invitation race in New York, run at Belmont on June 7," Lovett said.

"That could be an option and then he would go back to Germany for the Hansa-Preis and then maybe the Kergorlay.

"That is the path we followed with Protectionist and it fits in well with travelling a horse here for the Melbourne Cup.

"There are other Group 1 options we could target but the preference would be to avoid races that will mean he is further handicapped."