Red Cadeaux was a popular racehorse who was retired from racing, as a nine-year-old, after fracturing a fetlock in the Melbourne Cup at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Victoria in November, 2015. Initially, the injury, while serious, was not thought to be life-threatening, but Red Cadeaux suffered ‘irreversible’ complications following surgery and was humanely euthanised later the same month.
Owned by high-profile Hong Kong solicitor Ronald Arculli and trained, in Newmarket, by Ed Dunlop, Red Cadeaux contested 54 races, worldwide, between April, 2009 and November, 2015. He won seven times, including once at the highest, Group 1 level – in the Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin in December, 2012 – and amassed just shy of £5 million in prize money. Dunlop described the death of Red Cadeaux as his ‘saddest day in racing’.
In happier times, Red Cadeaux may have earned himself a ‘nearly man’ tag, but also developed a cult following in Australia, having run in the Melbourne Cup five years running and finished runner-up on three separate occasions. Red Cadeaux first contested ‘the race that stops a nation’ as a five-year-old in 2011 and, although sent off a largely unconsidered 30/1 chance, led inside the final furlong and failed by a rallying head to beat the French-trained Dunaden.
After a creditable eighth, from a wide draw, in 2012, Red Cadeaux tried again in 2013. Once again, he defied odds of 60/1 by taking the lead inside the final quarter of a mile and just losing out, by three-quarters of a length, in a ding-dong battle with the locally-trained favourite, Fiorente. Back again in 2014, Red Cadeaux was readily outpaced by the German-trained Protectionist in the closing stages, but nonetheless filled the runner-up berth for the third and final time, collecting nearly £484,000 in prize money for his trouble.