Superstar hoop Craig Williams has snared the ride on the in-form Alcopop for their spring finale in the 2012 Mackinnon Stakes next Saturday at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day, the opening of the four Melbourne Cup Carnival race days.
Jake Stephens’ eight-year-old Jeune gelding Alcopop, a one-time fancy for the Melbourne Cup three years ago, returned to form this spring after a number of disappointing campaigns having run two slashing Group 1 second placings at their last two starts.
The evergreen veteran first re-entered the headlines on October 13 when they came within three quarters of a length of the flying New Zealand four-year-old Ocean Park, one of the top fancies for today’s $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m), when second in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m).
Backing up seven days later Alcopop ran one of their best ever races and did Stephens proud when they ran only half a length second to reigning Melbourne Cup champ Dunaden in the $2.65 million group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).
Out of 2012 Melbourne Cup calculations this season, Stephens will now back Alcopop up in the $1 million Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2400m).
Having been ridden by their regular rider Dom Tourneur in their two huge Group 1 performances this time in, a decision has been made by connections to replace the South Australian-based jockey for the Mackinnon with Caulfield Cup winning hoop Williams.
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