Trainer Ed Dunlop and owner Ronnie Arculli have paid tribute to Red Cadeaux after having to make the tough decision to euthanise the three-time Melbourne Cup runner-up.

Contesting ‘the race that stops a nation’ for a record fifth time for an international contender on November 3, Red Cadeaux failed to see out the 3200m after suffering an injury to his left foreleg.

Initial fears about the welfare of the 10-year-old gelding seemed to have been allayed following immediate treatment and then surgery at the University of Melbourne Equine Centre at Werribee.

But it was announced on Saturday morning that because of a loss of blood flow to Red Cadeaux’s foot on the left foreleg and no prospect of correcting the issue, the decision was made to euthanise him, with Arculli’s request for his final resting place to be at Flemington Racecourse granted.

“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 Arculli and my staff, particularly Robin Trevor-Jones and Steve Nicholson, who spent every day caring for this horse,” said Dunlop in a statement.

"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 around the world for their wonderful support and well wishes during what has been an incredibly tough time for us all."

Owner Ronnie Arculli added: "For a race that stops a nation we were lucky to have a horse that touched a nation. We will miss Red Cadeaux dearly."

Racing Victoria Head of Equine Welfare and Veterinary Services Dr Brian Stewart said: "The loss of any racehorse is a terribly sad time for the connections given the love and care they are afforded. The loss of a crowd favourite such as Red Cadeaux is felt by all within the industry.

"Our thoughts go out at this time to Red Cadeaux's owner Ronnie Arculli, trainer Ed Dunlop and his staff led by Robin Trevor-Jones and Stephen Nicholson, along with his jockey Gerald Mosse, who all loved this horse dearly and will be shattered by his passing.

"I would also like to pay tribute to Dr Chris Whitton and the team at the University of Melbourne Equine Centre who have done everything in their power to save the horse and have given him the very best of care since he sustained his injury.”

Red Cadeaux endeared himself to Australian racing fans with second placings in the Melbourne Cup in 2011, ’13 and ’14, having come within a whisker of claiming the prize four years ago when nosed out by Dunaden.