Red Cadeaux was having little more a routine canter today, but Hugh Bowman still viewed the trip to the Werribee quarantine centre to partner the extraordinary equine veteran as a worthwhile exercise.

It mattered little that he didn’t fly into Melbourne, after riding a double at yesterday’s Canberra Cup meeting, until after 10pm and then had to hire a car and find his way to Werribee to ride his Australian Cup mount in what was a leisurely gallop.

Bowman noted the importance of just gaining a feel for a horse, particularly before a $1 million race.

He recalled the benefit garnered from when he rode New Zealander Wall Street in trackwork leading into his first ride on the horse — he subsequently won the 2010 Emirates Stakes.

“I came here just to get a sit on him, just a feel of him,” Bowman said

“It doesn’t hurt, it certainly helped when I rode Wall Street – I think if I hadn't galloped him he may not have won the Emirates.

“Just getting to know him was important. This horse is a pretty kind horse – Wall Street was different, he had a bit more character.”

Bowman said he was attracted to the maiden autumn carnival campaign of Red Cadeaux on several fronts, none more so than that he viewed him as the “ideal” Sydney Cup horse, given his stunning 3200-metre record and his attractive weight – 56.5kg.

He said with his commitment to Terravista in the Newmarket Handicap at Flemington on Super Saturday the opportunity to hook up with Red Cadeaux proved compelling.

“I was looking for an Australian Cup ride and when I was told his program it just suited me," Bowman said.

“It was like a nice shoe – sometimes they fit perfectly.”

While the nine-year-old is not renowned as a 2000-metre horse, although he did run second in a Dubai World Cup (albeit on dirt) over the Australian Cup distance, Bowman said Red Cadeaux's history reflects that he races well first up and he races well at Flemington.

“Win, lose or draw on Saturday, you know he’s going to improve into the Sydney carnival, just purely as the distances of the races are going to suit him better,” Bowman said. (Racing Network)