Fan favourite Red Cadeaux has been euthanased due to the injury sustained at the Melbourne Cup earlier this month.
The English stayer, who won the hearts of Australian fans after finishing second on three occasions in the race that stops the nation, pulled up in the final straight of this year’s race and it was later confirmed he suffered a break in his left foreleg.
There had been initial hope for the 10-year-old gelding after trainer Ed Dunlop said the early stages of his recovery went well and his life was “stable”, but a Racing Victoria statement said “irreversible complications arose” with the injury.
Experts at the University of Melbourne Equine Centre, where the ‘Big Red’ had been staying since the race, said the loss of blood flow to the leg could not be fixed.
“This is my saddest day in racing. Red Cadeaux was a much loved member of our family and my thoughts are with his owner Mr [Ronnie] Arculli and my staff, particularly Robin Trevor-Jones and Steve Nicholson, who spent every day caring for this horse,” Dunlop said.
“Unfortunately the complication was irreversible and the decision to euthanise the horse, whilst terribly hard, was made in his best interests.
“Red Cadeaux has given us and the racing public so much joy competing with great distinction across the world. He was an incredibly tough competitor with a wonderful nature and he will be dearly missed by all.
“I want to thank all the vets in Australia, particularly at the University of Melbourne Equine Clinic, that have worked tirelessly on the horse since the race and given him the very best of care.
“On behalf of Mr Arculli and my staff, I also want to thank the Australian public and his racing fans from around the world for their wonderful support and well wishes during what has been an incredibly tough time for us all.”
Arculli said Red Cadeaux had “touched a nation” and would be dearly missed.
‘He loved Australia and Australia loved him.’
Racing Victoria’s head of equine welfare and veterinary services, Dr Brian Stewart said this loss would be felt by everyone in the industry.
Red Cadeaux will be laid to rest at Flemington Racecourse, the site of the Melbourne Cup, in accordance with Arculli’s wishes.