With regular jockey Danny Nikolic currently serving a ban from riding, Mark Zahra has been appointed to ride Mosheen in tomorrow’s Group 3 2012 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) at Eagle Farm.
Nikolic was originally scheduled to appeal an indefinite riding ban today but that has been put back to next week forcing connections to find a replacement.
It will be just the second time in 15 starts that Cox Plate fancy Mosheen has been without Nikolic with the only other occasion coming in last year’s Myer Classic.
Nikolic was aboard throughout the autumn carnival when the Robert Smerdon-trained mare took out a Group 1 treble in the Australian Guineas, Randwick Guineas and the Vinery Stud Stakes.
Despite an early spring setback where she required a throat operation, Smerdon is confident Mosheen is in good condition to perform tomorrow.
“We wanted to kick off last week in the Memsie over 1400 metres so we’re a week later and 200 metres shorter under handicap conditions rather than weight-for-age conditions, which is not ideal,” Smerdon said.
“But she’s in good shape now and ready to get going and we’re still on track for what we wanted to achieve if all goes well.”
Mosheen’s major spring goal is believed to be the Cox Plate but she might also make a tilt at the Group 1 Epsom Handicap at Randwick in October.
The four-time Group 1 winner is rated a $6.50 chance to win first-up tomorrow with Mark Kavanagh’s We’re Gonna Rock the favourite at $4.80.
Other strong chances include Aurie’s Star Handicap winner Shanghai Warrior ($6.00) and Joe Pride-trained sprinter Title ($11.00).
The best thing about the bookmaker.com.au bonus is it can be split four ways meaning you can have a $100 bonus bet on four different spring features.