Tony McEvoy will wait until he sees the Melbourne Cup second acceptances before deciding which race Big Memory contests at Flemington on Saturday.
If Big Memory looks like missing out on a Cup start when the next declarations are taken on Monday he will contest the Group Two Lexus Stakes (2500m).
The Lexus winner is guaranteed a start in the Cup and there is no weight penalty attached.
But if it seems Big Memory will make the 24-horse Cup field, the trainer will switch the horse’s target to the Group One Mackinnon Stakes (2000m).
Big Memory, a $31 chance in the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday week, was 36th in the latest order of entry released on Friday making the Lexus Stakes the most likely option.
A two-year-old winner in France, Big Memory won his third race in Australia when he claimed the Herbert Power Stakes earlier this month to earn an automatic Caulfield Cup berth.
The Herbert Power success also earned him a 2kg Melbourne Cup penalty, taking him to 52.5kg.
After he drew barrier 17 in the Caulfield Cup, McEvoy decided the best option was to settle back in the field, a tactic he said proved to be wrong.
Big Memory hit the line well for 10th, less than three lengths behind the winner Admire Rakti.
“The only positive of the decision we made to go back is that we protected the horse and he hasn’t had a gut buster,” McEvoy said.
“It probably nearly cost us the race, but he ran a fabulous race.
“We made the decision to go back and it was the wrong decision.”
Tommy Berry, who won the Herbert Power on Big Memory, has the ride on Saturday.
Should Big Memory make the Melbourne Cup, McEvoy believes the son of Duke Of Marmalade is capable of running well.
“I’ve always thought of him as a two-miler,” McEvoy said.
“He started favourite in the Adelaide Cup and didn’t have much luck but ran below par (to finish 11th). But it wasn’t the distance that beat him, he was beaten a long way from home.
“He’s a better horse now, so I would say he’d be a chance for sure.”
McEvoy will monitor Moonee Valley Cup runner-up Le Roi before deciding whether he runs in the Lexus or waits for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes a week later.
The trainer said the Melbourne Cup was not on the radar for Le Roi, even if he ran well in the Lexus.