Kerrin McEvoy will ride high class English galloper Red Cadeaux in the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on the second day of ‘The Championships’ on Saturday.
The three time Melbourne Cup runner-up was also an acceptor for the Group 1 $1.6m Schweppes 150th Sydney Cup (3200m) also at Randwick on Saturday but Newmarket trainer Ed Dunlop confirmed on his website that Red Cadeaux would contest the $4m weight for age showcase.
“After much deliberation between Mr Arculli (owner), Robin, Steve and I, the decision has been made to run Red Cadeaux in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, as opposed to the Sydney Cup, at Randwick on Saturday,” Dunlop wrote on his blog.
McEvoy will replace Hugh Bowman who rode the big chestnut when fifth to Spillway in the Group 1 $1m Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 14.
Bowman had been engaged to ride Red Cadeaux if he went to the Sydney Cup but was committed to ride the Kris Less trained Lucia Valentina in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Travelling stable representative Robin Trevor-Jones was at the barrier draw on Tuesday when Red Cadeaux drew barrier three in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the outside gate in the Sydney Cup and indicated then that McEvoy would be their preferred rider which Dunlop confirmed.
“The excellent Kerrin McEvoy will ride as Hugh Bowman is set to partner Lucia Valentina,” Dunlop wrote.
Dunlop said that Sydney’s wet weather had been the deciding factor on which direction to go with the well-travelled nine year old.
The first day of ‘The Championships’ had to be postponed from last Saturday to Monday after Randwick was water logged following a week of rain and even though the forecast for the rest of the week is only for a few showers, the track is still likely to be rain affected this weekend.
“The weather has been the overriding factor in our decision, with Sydney having experienced an extremely wet week,” Dunlop wrote.
“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 2m (3200m) while Mr Arculli has never been afraid of a challenge!”
Dunlop had seen plenty of Godolphin’s English import Contributer when he raced in England as well as his recent Group 1 winning double – the $500,000 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm on February 28 and the $500,000 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on March 21.
And the top English trainer would also have been impressed with the Irish star Adelaide when he raced in the UK before he won the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley during the 2014 Melbourne Spring Carnival under the Aidan O’Brien banner.
“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!!,” Dunlop added.
Queen Elizabeth Stakes market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.60 Contributer, $4 To The World, $7.50 Tosen Stardom, Criterion, $8.50 Adelaide, $15 Lucia Valentina, $17 Royal Descent, $21 Beaten Up, Spillway, $31 Red Cadeaux, $51 Happy Trails, Fiveandahalfstar, $201 Aomen.