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Red Cardinal has been displaced as the Melbourne Cup favourite following his fifth in the Prix Kergorlay at Deauville but his owners remain upbeat.

Trained in Germany by Andreas Wohler for Australian Bloodstock, the combination successful with Protectionist in the 2014 Cup, Red Cardinal will still head to Australia.

He is now on the second line of TAB betting at $21 with Godolphin’s Hartnell and Japanese horse Admire Deus, a recent acquisition for Australian Bloodstock, at $15.

Australian Bloodstock’s Jamie Lovett said the shifty track at Deauville on Sunday (Monday AEST) was a factor in Red Cardinal’s performance and the plan was to contest the Group Two Herbert Power Stakes won by Protectionist on his way to the Cup.

“On face value, it probably looked a bit disappointing,” Lovett told Melbourne’s RSN 927.

“But Andreas wasn’t overly concerned. They were a bit concerned before the race. The track was very shifty and chopped out a little bit.

“He was always going to get back and there was no speed, typical of those races in France. They jog to the corner and sprint home.

“But I would have liked to have seen him pick up a bit better, but as I say, Andreas wasn’t overly concerned, so I’ll take reassurance from that.”

Lovett said he and others involved in the horse would head to Japan this week to see Admire Deus who is at $15 for the 2017 Caulfield Cup with Hartnell the TAB’s $9 favourite.

“We think a bit of him, given he’s got that profile through those staying races in Japan,” Lovett said.

Lovett’s company also races the Darren Weir-trained Group-winning stayer Big Duke, a $21 chance in the 2017 Melbourne Cup.

He resumed with a midfield finish over 1600 metres at Caulfield on Saturday, beaten less than two lengths.

“We were thrilled with him. Darren’s been really happy with him leading into his first-up run,” Lovett said.

“In a pretty decent race, to finish just on their heels, he’s in for a very good prep.”

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