Sydney-based Jockey Blake Shinn has secured a shot at winning a second ‘Loving Trophy’ booked for the ride on Sydney Cup winner Gallante in the Melbourne Cup 2016 field on November 1.
Shinn rode the late, great ‘Cups King’ Bart Cummings’ final Melbourne Cup winner Viewed back in 2008 and chases another winning ride in the ‘race that stops a nation’ this season on the Robert Hickmott-trained import Gallante.
Hickmott trained the 2012 Melbourne Cup champ Green Moon, who was the fourth winner for owner Lloyd Williams.
Williams and the Macedon Lodge team have a host of chances still in contention following this week’s first declarations for the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m), including Montjeu six-year-old Gallante.
Still lightly raced for his age, Gallante has won four of his 15 career starts to date and has already amassed close to $2 million in prize money.
He debuted down under in April last year and has enjoyed just one run in Australia since, taking out the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) over the two miles this autumn.
Gallante returned on September 17 at Caulfield and finished second as a $31 roughie behind Ciaron Maher’s class mare Jameka in the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m).
Shinn confirmed his Melbourne Cup ride via Twitter on Thursday.
“Thanks to team Williams for giving me the opportunity to chase another Melbourne Cup. #Gallante,” Shinn tweeted.
Five different hoops have partnered Gallante in his five last runs, and eight in his nine starts down under, including Kerrin McEvoy who rode him to victory in the Sydney Cup on 51.5kg.
Gallante is allocated 53.5kg in the latest Melbourne Cup weights, similar to the kilos Prince Of Penzance (53kg) won with in an upset as a triple-figure roughie in Melbourne Cup betting last year for trainer Darren Weir.
McEvoy meanwhile is booked to ride stablemate Almandin (51kg) in the Melbourne Cup chasing his second win in the two mile classic after his previous success aboard the Michael Moroney-trained Brew (2000) 16 years ago.
Almandin was penalised 1kg taking him up to his current kilos after getting the Melbourne Cup ballot exemption with a win in last Sunday’s Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2500m) at Flemington with Damien Oliver aboard.
Team Williams’ other Australian entered Melbourne Cup hopes are The United States (55.5kg), Assign (50kg), Aloft (50kg) and Foundry (50kg).
The contingent is rounded out by the Aidan O’Brien-trained Irish raider Bondi Beach (55kg) who will be ridden by Ryan Moore as he looks to improve on his 16th in the Melbourne Cup finishing order last spring.
Moore chases his second Melbourne Cup win in three years after riding the German raider Protectionist to victory for Andreas Wohler in 2014.
The latest all-in Melbourne Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au have Almandin as an $11 fancy, while Gallante pays $26 to complete the interstate Sydney – Melbourne Cup double.
Futures Melbourne Cup betting is led by the John O’Shea-trained Hartnell ($6) who could line-up in the race after tackling Winx in the $3 million Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 22.
Check out the full Melbourne Cup 2016 markets now available at Ladbrokes.com.au.