Amade (Ire) to start Cup campaign at Caulfield

Trainer Phillip Stokes is learning a little more each day about imported stayer Amade (Ire) who has his return run at Caulfield on a path to the Melbourne Cup. 

Amade runs in the Group 3 MRC Foundation Cup (2000m) on Saturday, over the same course and distance he started his Australian career in when fourth in the Group 3 Easter Cup in April. The gelding then went on to win over 2600m at Flemington three weeks later and Stokes is following a similar program with Amade this time around. 

Amade (Ire) commences his spring campaign in the Foundation Cup at Caulfield, picture Racing Photos

Stokes did not know what to expect from Amade last time in, saying the gelding was hard to get a line on in his trackwork. But he has seen some different signs this time around and is expecting Amade to switch on when the gelding gets to Caulfield on Saturday. 

“He’s a real race day horse but we’re really happy with him,” Stokes said. “He’s kept a lot of residual fitness in him this time around, as while he was out in the paddock he was ticking over at the farm on our uphill track. 

“I feel he’s going better than last prep, but he will have to, as he’s taking on better horses.” 

Amade has 52.5kg in the Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 2 — and is currently equal 73rd on the order of entry into the Cup — and needs to win The Bart Cummings (2500m) at Flemington on October 2 or receive a penalty to climb up the order. The winner of The Bart Cummings gains a ballot exemption into the Melbourne Cup. 

“I know he stays and there’s plenty of improvement in him,” Stokes said. “Hopefully we can go from this to the Bart Cummings, then maybe to the Geelong Cup and hopefully to the Melbourne Cup. 

“He’s been nominated for The Metropolitan [at Randwick on October 2], and nothing is off the table. 

“We’re looking forward to seeing him go around on Saturday. He’s still a bit hairy in the coat but I think he’s going better this time around and we’ve learnt a bit more about him as well.”