At one stage back in 2019, after winning the Belmont Gold Cup in the US, Amade was one of the favourites for the Melbourne Cup.
However that year a Cup assault never came to fruition for the gelding after he suffered a pelvis injury and instead Amade spent 95 weeks away from the racecourse before making his debut for the Phillip Stokes stable.
First-up he turned in an eye catcher when fourth in the Easter Cup at Caulfield but at Flemington on Anzac Day the now seven-year-old showed his quality with an impressive 1¾ length win in the William Newton VC Handicap over 2800m.
“It’s been a long trip with this horse. A big thank you to OTI for giving him to us to start with,” Stokes said.
“He won the Belmont Gold Cup in New York then he went amiss. He did a pelvis, he did a tendon, it’s been a very big rehabilitation with 12 months off the scene.
“We’ve just brought him along very slowly. Full credit to my team back at Pakenham, they’ve done a fantastic job. To get a result like this second-up is better than expected.
“He’s been with our team for quite. He was down at Warrnambool doing a bit of rehabilitation work and it’s just good that he’s come this far this quickly.
“He’s been a very sound horse back at the stable. I think when he came into the mounting yard last time he was called a fat pig! He’s done a good job.
“(After) his work on Tuesday, we walked away scratching our heads, it was very ordinary. He’s a real raceday horse.”
Now Stokes has the task of mapping a program towards the Melbourne Cup with the gelding as he’s ineligible to go to the Andrew Ramsden for a possible ‘free ticket’ in the Cup with that race restricted to three, four and five-year-olds.
“I’m probably going to have to send him to the paddock for a break now and try and set him for a Melbourne Cup,” Stokes said.
The win of Amade impressed sufficiently for TAB.com.au to elevate the Flemington winner to the fourth line of Melbourne Cup betting at $26.
While connections of Amade were delighted with the result the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace team were left scratching their heads after the heavily backed favourite Persan beat just one to the line.
Punter launched into Persan backing him from $1.75 into $1.60 at jump time but he failed to flatter in the straight being beaten 3½ lengths into fourth place in the five horse field.
Originally published asMelbourne Cup on agenda for Amade
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