Photo: Mathea Kelley
Staying power is defined as having strength and energy, stamina, and toughness—all attributes of one of racing’s highest-profile world travelers: Red Cadeaux.
The big, red runner, based in Great Britain with trainer Ed Dunlop, has been in Japan since April 19 preparing for his second bid to win the marathon Tenno Sho (Spring) (Jpn-I) May 4 at Kyoto Racecourse, and his connections think he is poised for a top effort.
Campaigned by Hong Kong lawyer and businessman Ronald Arculli, the 8-year-old Cadeaux Genereux gelding has contested 16 group I races worldwide and will try to win the Tenno Sho after finishing third, three lengths behind Fenomeno, in the 3,200-meter (about two-mile) race last year.
Red Cadeaux arrived in Japan in good order, and after clearing quarantine at Miki Horse Land Park was transported to the international stables Kyoto April 25.
Dunlop’s assistant Robin Trevor-Jones accompanied Red Cadeaux on the journey to Japan and reported smooth going during the eight-hour, 4,835-mile trip from the United Arab Emirates, where the runner was unplaced behind winner African Story in the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) March 29 at Meydan.
“It was a long trip but there were no particular problems," Trevor-Jones, who also accompanied Snow Fairy (also from the Dunlop stables) twice to Japan, where she won the back-to-back editions of the Queen Elizabeth Commemorative Cup (Jpn-I) in 2010 and 2011.
Earlier this week, Trevor-Jones had concerns about the very hard turf course at Kyoto, but rain began falling in the area April 29 and Red Cadeaux was sent for a jog and a canter, then April 30 for a three-furlong gallop under work rider Stephen Nicholson on the rain softened turf course.
"He trained well this morning—we had a nice lot of rain last night so we decided that this was the best day to use the turf and he was quite happy on it," Trevor-Jones said. "He started rolling three furlongs out and he seemed comfortable. The ground on the stand side is definitely easier, and a softer ground for work would be better, but on race day you've got to go where the fastest ground is anyway. It would be ideal for us to have rain just to keep it as it is now.
"He's definitely coming out of Dubai better than last year. He trained very well in Dubai after the World Cup, the way he's eating his food—all round, everything just seems to be more comfortable this year.
"There are four really high-profiled horses in this year's line-up, and he'll definitely have to be up in his absolute ‘A’ game to beat them, which I think he is. I think last year's winner Fenomeno is the biggest danger."
This year’s Tenno Sho lineup includes 2013 winner Fenomeno, as well as 2013 Tokyo Yushun (Jpn-I, Japanese Derby) winner Kizuna (fourth in the 2013 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, Fr-I); and 2013 Takarazuka Kinen (Jpn-I) winner Gold Ship, coming off a win of the Hanshin Daishoten (Jpn-II). Also expected to start is Win Variation, victor of the Nikkei Sho (Jpn-II) March 29 and second in the 2013 Arima Kinen (Jpn-I) at year’s end.
Red Cadeaux is now done with his pre-race hard work, Trevor-Jones said.
“We're quite content to see how he's done today; he didn't blow much afterwards so we'll just do some little canters up to race day."
A tough and game gelding, Red Cadeaux has been a fairly consistent and versatile performer for Dunlop despite constant foot issues. He has been given a schedule to that of last year's campaign leading up to his bid in the Tenno Sho.
He enters the race off a disappointing sixth-place in the $10 million Dubai World Cup March 29 after a poor draw, which followed a fourth to Dominant in the Hong Kong Vase (HK-I) at Sha Tin in December.
Dunlop was pleased with the World Cup performance.
“He’s run another super race from that draw (post 14),” he said after the race. “(Jockey Gerald Mosse) had to take him back, and he finished his race really well. Another couple of strides and he’d have been fourth.”
Prior the Hong Kong Vase, Red Cadeaux finished close second, three-quarters of a length behind Fiorente, in the Melbourne Cup (Aus-I) in his second start in the race. In the 2011 edition, he was second by a nose to French runner Dunaden in the closest finish in the 151-year history of Australia’s most famous race.
The Tenno Sho is deemed Red Cadeaux’s ideal distance. It is Japan's longest group I flat race and run at Melbourne Cup distance of 3,200 meters.
Photo: Courtesy Hong Kong Jockey Club
Red Cadeaux won the 2012 Hong Kong Vase
Mosse rode Red Cadeaux in last year’s Tenno Sho and is booked for the ride again this year.
Leading up to last year’s Tenno Sho, Red Cadeaux finished a fast-closing second to Animal Kingdom in the Dubai World Cup on the Tapeta surface after capping his 2012 season with a head victory in the Hong Kong Vase.
Red Cadeaux was unraced as a 2-year-old in 2008 and developed into a progressive handicapper during ages 3 and 4, recording victories at Wolverhampton, Doncaster and Lingfield. The next year began his evolvement into a high-class stayer.
Red Cadeaux is by two-time English champion sprinter Cadeaux Genereux but there is stamina influence on his dam’s side. He is out Artisia, a daughter of 1997 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) winner Peintre Celebre.
Artisia, who failed to win in three starts, is a half sister to 2012-13 Hong Kong Horse of the Year and champion middle-distance horse Military Attack, by Oratorio, and to English and Irish group III winner Alamty, by Dancing Dissident. Second dam Almaaseh, a daughter of 1985 Irish One Thousand Guineas (Ire-I) winner Al Bahathri and 1986 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) winner Dancing Brave, is a half sister to 2004 Two Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) winner and sire Haafhd.
A chestnut gelding who was bred in Great Britain by Foursome Thoroughbreds, Red Cadeaux has a 7-11-6 record from 43 career starts.
London-based bloodstock agent Charlie Gordon-Watson bought Red Cadeaux as a yearling for 55,000 guineas ($117,331) on Arculli’s behalf at 2007 Tattersalls October yearling sale. Arculli, former chairman of the Hong Kong Jockey Club from 2002-2006, also races horses in Australia and New Zealand.
Red Cadeaux has not won in 10 starts since in the 2012 Hong Kong Vase, but he has finished in the top three six times: three seconds, a third and two fourths, all but one in top-level races. His overall record includes wins in the 2011 At the Races Curragh Cup (Ire-III) and the 2012 Yorkshire Cup (Eng-II) as well as a second the same season in the Coronation Cup (Eng-I).
The Tenno Sho is open to 4-year-olds and up and is held at the right-handed Kyoto Racecourse. The race carries a purse of nearly 275 million yen ($2,749,600 in United States funds), with a winner's share of 132 million yen ($1,320,000).