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- Stellar Entry for £100,000 Woodford Reserve Cardinal Stakes
Stellar Entry for £100,000 Woodford Reserve Cardinal Stakes
Saturday’s seven-race card at Chelmsford City Racecourse is headlined by the £100,000 Woodford Reserve Cardinal Stakes, the final leg on the European Road to the Kentucky Derby.
The mile contest, worth £51,540 to the winner, has attracted a stellar entry of 11 runners, with both Brave Emperor and Stormy Entry having already accrued valuable points towards the Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs on the first weekend of May.
Middleham Park Racing’s Brave Emperor, trained by Archie Watson, comes into the race on a mark of 101 following his victory in Kempton’s Road To The Kentucky Derby Conditions Stakes on 15 March, for which he earned 20 points. The gelding’s solid form includes victory in the Listed Prix de la Californie at Cagnes-sur-Mer in February among his five wins to date.
The first five home in the Kempton qualifying race all take each other on again on Saturday, with runner-up Alzahir representing the John and Thady Gosden stable, while John Ryan fields Tenjin, Charlie Johnston will saddle Killybegs Warrior, and Middleham Park Racing has a second challenger in the George Scott-trained Coco Jack.
Willie Browne will make the trip from Ireland with the aforementioned Stormy Entry, a dual winner at Dundalk who was recently third in the Listed Patton Stakes, where the colt earned six Kentucky Derby points for leading North American owner-breeder Charles Fipke.
Champion trainer Charlie Appleby is never shy of running horses Stateside and his challenger for the Cardinal Stakes is the treble winner and 101-rated Bold Act, who is set to be partnered by one of the rising stars of the jockey ranks, Harry Davies.
James Tate will be double-handed in the race, having declared the unbeaten Harry Angel colt Iconic Moment as well as New Definition. The stable-mates finished first and second on their previous start in the Listed Spring Cup at Lingfield.
Jane Chapple-Hyam has had the Gredley Family’s Think Climate in terrific form through the winter to win at Chelmsford City in November and follow up at Southwell in December, and he returns in a bid for a second Essex victory, while Paul and Oliver Cole’s Physique has not been seen in action since last October but he made a good impression when winning a Newmarket novice stakes on his second start.
Chelmsford City Racecourse’s Director of Racing Neil Graham said, “We are thrilled to see such a strong entry for our first £100,000 race of the season, and one which carries with it such an important international connection.
“Brave Emperor and Stormy Entry are already nominated for the Kentucky Derby with 20 and six points respectively. It should be a good race with one of them, hopefully, going on to Churchill Downs.”