In the fall-out from Weir's disqualification earlier this month for possession of banned electrical devices known as jiggers, his owners have had to find new homes for more than 600 horses.
Ciaron Maher and David Eustace have taken over many with the acquisition of Weir's Ballarat stable, with Age Of Fire, third in Saturday's Parramatta Cup (1900m), among them.
Red Cardinal has been unplaced in the past two Melbourne Cups when trained firstly by Andreas Wohler then Weir while Big Duke was placed at Group One level twice in 2017 and ran fourth in that year's Cup.
The three were at long odds with Red Cardinal $26, Big Duke $19 and Age Of Fire $16.
Jason Collett brought Red Cardinal from last and was confident from the home turn, with a length to spare on his stablemate.
“I knew they were going quickly enough and once I turned for home, I'd got there very easily on the bridle and I thought I had them covered,” Collett said.
“It was a really good effort and quite soft in the end.”
Lucas Miller, representing the Lees stable, said Jamie Lovett and Luke Murrell of Australian Bloodstock had given them a rundown on the two horses but they were obviously still learning about the pair.
“They were presented to the stable in great order,” he said.
“Jamie and Luke gave us a good guide on their form and how they had performed in training before they came to us.”
Red Cardinal caught the eye of bookmakers, firming from $26 to $15 for the Group One Sydney Cup (3200m) in April.