Another shot at redemption for Amade in the Sydney Cup

Amade’s chance to end his career one of the best-performed horses Phillip Stokes has trained has probably passed, but the enigmatic import will continue to be given chances to land a big staying feature.

The 10-year-old’s next opportunity comes in this Saturday’s $2 million Group 1 Sydney Cup at Randwick.

The 3200-metre event will be Amade’s first appearance since his remarkable performance in the Group 2 Adelaide Cup, when he was again slowly away but later saw jockey Zac Spain lose his irons.

It was the latest hard-luck story in a career full of missed opportunities for the son of Casamento, most by his own doing, but Stokes remains hopeful it will one day click and the Pakenham trainer is convinced he is ging well enough to win this weekend.

“He’s thrown away a lot of money in his career, but when he’s on song he can run a race and he’s given me the right indication (he’ll run well),” Stokes said.

“The horse, on his day, is better than Daqiansweet Junior, but ‘DJ’ is a lot more consistent.

“He’s just one of those quirky horses, he’ll either do it or he won’t, and there’s not much you can do about it.”

The irons snapping was a new one, but slow starts have been a staple of his career, which started in Europe and included a Group 2 win in the Belmont Gold Cup in the United States before coming to Australia.

Amade had his first Australian start in the 2021 Easter Cup, finishing fourth behind Hang Man, before winning at Flemington and his only win since came in last year’s Group 3 Geelong Cup.

He has not finished further back than fifth in five runs since, including a Bagot Handicap second when he jumped well in a blindfold, but Stokes said that was likely to be removed this week in an attempt to keep him on his toes.

“We put a blindfold on him and that worked for a while and then he’s got back into old habits,” he said.

“So I’ve taken the blindfold off thinking, ‘we’ll surprise you again’.”

Amade will carry 51.5kg in the Sydney Cup, where he will clash with two horses he beat home at Geelong, with runner-up Ashrun holding down the second line of betting behind More Felons, who finished fifth in the Geelong Cup.

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