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Amade's Brisbane Cup hopes hinge on good start

Fri 14 June 2024

By Glenn Davis

Trainer Phillip Stokes will get a good idea soon after the start of the Brisbane Cup whether Amade is a serious chance of winning the Group 2 feature at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

Amade - a Daniel Stackhouse mount – is a noted slow beginner and Stokes has his fingers crossed the gelding jumps cleanly as the rising 11-year-old has a history of missing the start.

“He’s got a bad habit of stepping away slow which has cost him quite a few races,” Stokes said.

“He missed the start by more than 10 lengths which ruined his chances in the Sydney Cup.

“I’ll know what his chances will be just after the start, but he’s got 3200 metres to make up for any mistakes.”

Amade has been plagued with injuries, restricting his career to just 34 starts for 11 wins and seven placings.

The son of Casamento will rewrite history if successful as no horse older than seven has won the Brisbane Cup in modern times.

Amade was brought to Australia by OTI Racing and qualified for the Melbourne Cup after winning the Belmont Gold Cup over 3200 metres in New York in 2019.

A four-time winner over the Brisbane Cup distance, Amade is coming off a dominant win in the Listed Sandown Cup over 3200 metres on June 2.

He missed the start by four lengths in the Sandown Cup before circling the field under Stackhouse.

Amade was also given his chance in the Group 2 Adelaide Cup at Morphettville in March in what turned out to be a disastrous attempt.

“In the Adelaide Cup, his stirrup broke going to the barriers and then the other stirrup broke in the run,” Stokes said.

“He still loomed up strongly and was only beaten around three lengths to finish fourth.”

Amade has been in work a long time and will be lining up for his 11th start since resuming back in September of last year.

“He’s been in work forever, but it hasn’t affected him,” Stokes said.

“We train him on the farm at Garfield near Pakenham and only take him to the track when we need to.

“I’ve got around 45 horses in work there and I’ve still got a stable in Adelaide with around 20 horses.

”He’s not showing any signs of training off and he’s a very accomplished horse who loves 3200 metres.”