The suspension of Patrick Moloney has paved the way for ace Victorian hoop Mark Zahra to pick up the mount on Caulfield Guineas hope Black Vanquish in Saturday’s Danehill Stakes 2015 in Melbourne.
Moloney copped an 11-day suspension for a careless ride at Bendigo last Friday and will miss this weekend’s Makybe Diva Stakes Day meeting at Flemington Racecourse.
One of the key support races on the card is the $200,000 Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m), won last year by subsequent Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) winner and Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) winner Rich Enuff.
This year Flemington horseman Tom Hughes plans to follow the same path into the $1 million Caulfield Guineas over the mile on October 10 with his up-and-coming Lonhro colt Black Vanquish.
A winner of two of his three starts to date, Black Vanquish was disappointing on debut when 11th to Of The Brave in the Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) back in mid-February but appreciated a step down in class to win by two lengths over 1200m at Flemington next start on April 11.
His latest run was then back at Caulfield and back in black-type company where he held on by a neck to defeat Payroll in the Listed Redoute’s Choice Stakes (1200m) in early May.
Now he will make his Group 2 debut in the Danehill with Zahra aboard for the first time.
“We had Patrick locked in, but the suspension meant we had to replace and Mark Zahra will take the ride, Hughes told Racenet.
In current Caulfield Guineas odds at Ladbrokes.com.au Black Vanquish is a $67 outsider with betting led by the Chris Waller-trained JJ Atkins winner Press Statement ($5), Mick Price’s Ready For Victory ($6) and Gai Waterhouse’s former top fancy Vancouver ($7).
In Sydney this Saturday Press Statement, last seen running second to Exosphere in the Run To The Rose, will face off with his last start conqueror in the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens.
Vancouver and Ready For Victory however will bypass the Sydney Group 1 and instead face off alongside Black Vanquish in the Danehill.
Hughes is confident of a good first-up showing from his galloper after Black Vanquish put in some impressive work in a hit-out late last week.
“He had another strong jumpout on Friday and he’s just going beautifully,” the trainer said.
“He’s bigger and stronger, nice and relaxed in the stable so I couldn’t be happier.
“I’m not sure what else will be in the Danehill, but I wouldn’t swap my horse for any of them.”
If all doesn’t go to plan in the Danehill and Black Vanquish, looking to join a winner’s list that includes the likes of Black Caviar (2009), Sepoy (2011) and Snitzerland (2012), then Hughes will refocus on a shorter Grand Final in the $500,000 Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day, October 31.
To check out the full Caulfield Guineas futures odds and back your early selections before the Danehill Stakes results affect the markets this weekend, visit Ladbrokes.com.au and open an account quoting the code SPRINGBONUS to also enjoy up to $500 in bonus bets!