Red Cadeaux will not run in the race he was initially sent to Australia to contest, the $1.6 million Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m).
But the three-time Melbourne Cup runner-up will still be at Randwick for Day 2 of The Championships this Saturday, with the $4 million Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) his target instead.
Trainer Ed Dunlop confirmed the change in direction on Tuesday night just prior to leaving England for Australia, where he will reunite with travelling foreman Robin Trevor-Jones and track rider Steve Nicholson.
Dunlop said while a clash with Cox Plate winner Adelaide and the in-form Contributer was daunting, the Sydney Cup is a stronger-than-usual renewal and the shorter race was more suitable given the wet weather.
“The weather has been the overriding factor in our decision, with Sydney having experienced an extremely wet week,” Dunlop said.
“Although the rain is set to relent in the next few days, Robin and Steve inform me that the track is currently soft. This would put a question mark against Red’s stamina over two miles while (owner) Mr (Ron) Arculli has never been afraid of a challenge!
“Obviously Contributer and Adelaide will be tough to beat, but the Sydney Cup is a vintage renewal in itself with Protectionist, Who Shot Thebarman and the well-weighted Hartnell in the line-up. Hopefully we have made the right call.”
Red Cadeaux was an $8.50 chance in TAB’s Sydney Cup market and is at $51 to win the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.