Red Cadeaux and Farraaj have both left Australia for Hong Kong to take part in the international meeting but a return to the country early next year could be on the cards.
Connections of both horses, who travelled to Australia in the spring for a tilt in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) and Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) respectively, have flagged their interest in The Championships race series during the Sydney autumn carnival. However a final decision will not be made until after their Hong Kong commitments.
Red Cadeaux made history on November 4 when he finished runner-up to Protectionist in the 2014 Melbourne Cup. He became the first horse to claim three second placings in the ‘race that stops the nation’. He is due to run in the Hong Kong Vase (2400m), a race he previously won in 2012, on December 14 while Farraaj will run in the Hong Kong Cup (2000m).
Robin Trevor-Jones, the foreman for Red Cadeaux’s trainer Ed Dunlop, told Sky Racing that a trip to Sydney for The Championships series is solely dependent on the gelding’s performance in the Hong Kong Vase.
“The trainer will make the decision,” Trevor-Jones said.
“He could come straight back here after Hong Kong, go back to England and come back for the autumn carnival or go on to Dubai.
“With the Dubai World Cup going back to dirt I know the trainer is keen on coming out for Sydney, but we’ll see how he goes in Hong Kong.”
Red Cadeaux has come out of his 2014 Melbourne Cup second placing better than last year and there’s no reason why the eight-year-old won’t contest his fifth race next year.
Farraaj made one start in Australia during his campaign, finishing third in the 2014 Mackinnon Stakes, but connections are keen to return the five-year-old during the autumn and perhaps longer term, a shot at the 2015 Cox Plate.
“The boss is already talking about coming back next year and we might even come back in February for Sydney,” Joan Banks, travelling representative for trainer Roger Varian, said.
“This is a new adventure for us having not been here before, but now that we know the drill he (Varian) is looking at bringing more out next year.”
The Championships is the richest race series in the Southern Hemisphere. It comprises of 10 Grand Final races, eight of which are at Group One level, offering in excess of $20 million in prize money.
Races include the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m), Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m), and the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m). Only time will tell if international stars Red Cadeaux and Farraaj contest any of these races.
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