Rob Heathcote’s special little filly Startantes...
Lightweight hoop Dean Yendall is booked to ride the Darren Weir-trained mare Amelie’s Star for the first time in the Melbourne Cup 2017 field on Tuesday November 7.
Melbourne Cup jockeys for the two mile classic are starting to take shape, Weir confirming hoops for both his brave Cox Plate runner-up Humidor and his Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2500m) winner Amelie’s Star this week.
Former Kiwi-trained stayer Humidor steps-up to the 3200m of the Group 1 $6.2 million Emirates Melbourne Cup for the first time next week, jockey Blake Shinn retaining the ride.
Shinn rode the suspended Damian Lane’s regular mount to the eye-catching second to Winx in the Group 1 Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) and has been rewarded with the Melbourne Cup ride as well.
Lane has also picked up a horse to partner in the ‘Race That Stops A Nation’ however getting his chance aboard the Godolphin-raced Hartnell who rounded out last year’s Melbourne Cup trifecta.
Shinn chases his second winning Melbourne Cup ride after success aboard Bart Cummings’ final champion Viewed in 2008.
Looking to complete The Bart Cummings – Melbourne Cup double done by Almandin in 2016, Amelie’s Star has Yendall jumping on for the famous Flemington Race 7.
The six-year-old daughter of Testa Rossa is currently in on only 51kg in the Melbourne Cup weights, headed by Hartnell (57.5kg).
Yendall is one of the few jockeys able to get down to the lightweight, which was last carried to victory by a Melbourne Cup winner in 2009 when Corey Brown guided the Mark Kavanagh-trained Shocking to victory.
Other recent Melbourne Cup champions that carted just 51kg to victory include Makybe Diva (2003) for the first of her eventual record third victories and fellow mare Jezabeel (1998) ridden by Glen Boss and Chris Munce respectively.
Amelie’s Star is out to be the first Melbourne Cup winning mare since Makybe Diva made history with her third in 2005 with 58kg on her back.
Despite coming back from 54.5kg to 51kg, she struggled to feature in the mile and a half showdown finishing over five lengths back 11th behind the upset Lindsay Park-trained winner Boom Time.
The mare was unsuited to how jockey Craig Williams rode her in the Caulfield Cup however and Weir said instructions for Yendall next week would be returning to her normal riding pattern of “taking a sit and working into the race”.
Pre-field Melbourne Cup betting remains dominated by the reigning champion Almandin ($6.50).
The Lloyd Williams-owned galloper was flat carrying 60kg to fourth as the beaten favourite over three lengths off Amelie’s Star in The Bart Cummings.
He comes back to 56.5kg for his Melbourne Cup title defence, which is 4.5 kg more than he carted in the race last year.
Flamboyant Italian jockey Frankie Dettori rides Almandin in the Melbourne Cup this spring after the 20-meeting suspension of his original hoop Damien Oliver.
Check out the latest 2017 Melbourne Cup odds today before prices firm come final acceptances this Saturday after the VRC Derby Day racing action.
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