Given how new Chelmsford City Racecourse is, its hardly surprising that the Cardinal Stakes has a limited history! In fact, the first running of the race was in 2019 when it was inaugurated to be part of the European Road to the Kentucky Derby.
In recent time, Churchill Downs in Louisville has actively sought to attract more European-based runners into the first leg of the Triple Crown, meaning points are given out in certain races such as this and the Burradon Stakes at Newcastle to help horses qualify for the Kentucky Derby in early May.
This race is run as a conditions race on an otherwise quiet midweek meeting in the middle of April. Staged over a mile with the expectation that it provides, on its all-weather track, the ideal prep for those looking to run over the Kentucky Derby’s 1¼-mile trip on dirt, the Cardinal Stakes was targeted by some big yards in 2019.
Aidan O’Brien had the favourite, Mark Johnston and William Haggas were represented and the race was won by one of Andrew Balding’s colts.