Controversial jockey Chris Munce has picked up the ride on Caulfield Cup hopeful Daffodil this Saturday in the $2.5million race. It will be the first time the once prolific hoop has ridden in Melbourne in three years, last seen on Victorian tracks in the spring of 2006.
Munce, who was jailed for horse tipping in Hong Kong, is set to make his comeback after spending the last two Caulfield Cups in jail. Convicted in the “tips for bets” affair for corruption, Munce has spent the last 20 months in prison, initially in Hong Kong before being transferred to Silverwater Jail in Sydney.
Munce was released close to a year ago but has been unable to ride due to a 30-month disqualification forced on by the Hong Kong Jockey Club stewards. Although he was still licensed to ride in NSW, Victoria upheld the ban, which ceased last month.
Daffodil is now sitting at the top of the betting markets at $8.50 and the Kiwi mare’s trainer Kevin Gray is hoping Munce can make up for Daffodil’s last start loss in the Group 1 $1.2 million Kelt Capital Stakes at Hastings at the start of the month.
Daffodil impressed punters with her win in the AJC Australian Oaks (2400m) in April at Randwick and was one of the biggest shorteners in the major betting market reshuffle following the Caulfield Cup barrier draw yesterday.
Munce will not mount the mare until moments before the race in the mounting yard and will have to sum up the horse very quickly if they are in for a chance. But having drawn barrier four they have a big advantage and should be able to find a good passage on the field.
A win in the Caulfield Cup will not only revive his career but will also mean Munce has won the elusive accomplishment of Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Golden Slipper victories.
Daffodil also looks set to run in the $5.6million Melbourne Cup on November 3, currently sitting at around a $21 chance with the bookmakers.