The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
UPDATE: John Allen will ride Serpentine for seven-time winning owner Lloyd Williams.
UPDATE: Patrick Moloney will ride Geelong Cup winner Emissary.
UPDATE: Irish jockey Wayne Lordan flies out to ride Point Nepean.
There are only a handful of rides left for next Tuesday’s Group 1 $7.75 million Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m), and some big-name jockeys in Australian racing could be on the side-lines for the 162nd edition of the ‘race that stops a nation’.
The big news ahead of the Melbourne Cup 2022 on Friday was the shock withdrawal of the second favourite Loft from the German stables of Marcel Weiss.
The heavily-backed raider was found to be suffering from a tendon injury, ruling him out of a chance to join Protectionist (2014) as a German-trained Melbourne Cup winner.
Loft was to be ridden by James McDonald on 55.5kg who guided Verry Elleegant to success in the iconic two-mile showdown last year.
McDonald is unlikely to secure another Melbourne Cup ride in time for the big show at that higher weight with the majority of remaining Melbourne Cup horses without a confirmed hoop lower down the handicaps.
He could then be sitting on the side-lines for the famous showdown, running at Flemington at 3:00pm (AEDT) on November 1, with three-time Melbourne Cup winning jockey Damien Oliver.
Oliver had been working hard to make weight to partner Chris Waller’s Caulfield Cup champion Durston.
Last year’s winning Melbourne Cup trainer Waller however lost the chance at back-to-back ‘Loving Cup’ trophies earlier in the week with the devastatingly withdrawal of Durston who failed a mandatory pre-race scan.
Waller is also unlikely to accept for Crystal Pegasus who sits inside the Top 24 on the Melbourne Cup order of entry in number 21 (20 with Loft out) ruling out that 52kg ride.
The master trainer hinted in an interview on Friday morning that the stable was more likely to send Crystal Pegasus out for a spell following the horse’s run in the Group 3 $300,000 Lexus Archer Stakes (2500m) on Saturday.
Michael Moroney has now confirmed a Melbourne Cup jockey for his 51.5kg chance Emissary who locked in his run following the withdrawal of Durston with Patrick Moloney to ride.
The Kingman six-year-old remains lightly-raced having had 15 starts for four wins following his one-length success on October 19 in the Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m).
Blake Shinn rode Emissary to victory in the Geelong Cup on 56kg, but is booked to ride the Danny O’Brien-trained former Melbourne Cup champion Vow And Declare on 54kg.
Moloney was tipped to be named as Emissary’s Melbourne Cup jockey, the Newmarket Handicap-winning hoop having a strong association with Moroney.
Moloney rode Vengeur Masque for a similar ownership group back in the 2018 Melbourne Cup finishing 15th.
Goliath owner Lloyd Williams is in with a chance at an historic eighth Melbourne Cup victory with the Robert Hickmott-trained Point Nepean securing his spot with a ballot exemption The Andrew Ramsden victory back in May.
The Camelot entire has been disappointing in his two spring runs finishing well out of the money however and Irish jockey Wayne Lordan will fly in for the ride as Point Nepean seeks redemption in the Melbourne Cup 2022 field.
Lordan has had three previous Melbourne Cup rides, and his best result was a third in the 2019 Melbourne Cup trifecta on Il Paradiso.
Williams is also now in with a shot at adding to his historic Melbourne Cup ownership record with Serpentine, to be ridden by John Allen, passing the first ballot clause with his fighting second behind Surefire in Saturday’s Group 3 Lexus Archer Stakes on Derby Day.
The Ciaron Maher & David Eustace-trained Bendigo Cup winning mare from Wednesday High Emocean may not have been penalised, but the Melbourne Cup attrition rate means she looks all but confirmed a run on just 50kg.
The stable’s former apprentice Teo Nugent will partner either High Emocean or Interpretation, owned by the same connections as Loft, who is right on the cusp of a run.
Maher & Eustace play a strong hand in the Melbourne Cup numbers-wise also saddling up the 57.5kg top-weight Gold Trip (Mark Zahra), Grand Promenade (Harry Coffey), Turnbull Stakes winner Smokin’ Romans (Jamie Kah).
The official Melbourne Cup 2022 final acceptances close at 4:30pm (AEDT) on Saturday followed by the live Melbourne Cup barrier draw after the Derby Day racing at Flemington.
Latest 2022 Melbourne Cup Ballot Order & Jockeys
- LUNAR FLARE (G Begg) Michael Dee 51.5kgs
- POINT NEPEAN (R Hickmott) Wayne Lordan 51kgs
- DEAUVILLE LEGEND (J Ferguson) Kerrin McEvoy 55kgs
- GOLD TRIP (C Maher & D Eustace) Mark Zahra 57.5kgs
- DUAIS (E Cummings) Hugh Bowman 55.5kgs
- MONTEFILIA (D Payne) Jason Collett 55.5kgs
- HOO YA MAL (G Waterhouse & A Bott) Craig Williams 53.5kgs
- KNIGHTS ORDER (G Waterhouse & A Bott) Tim Clark 55.5kgs
- LOFT (M Weiss) James McDonald 55.5kgs
- WITHOUT A FIGHT (S Crisford) William Buick 55.5kgs
- NUMERIAN (A Neasham) Tommy Berry 55.5kgs
- CAMORRA (B & JD Hayes) Ben Melham 55kgs
- ALEGRON (J Cummings) John Allen 53kgs – Unlikely final acceptor
- STOCKMAN (J Pride) Sam Clipperton 54kgs
- YOUNG WERTHER (D O’Brien) Damian Lane 54kgs
- VOW AND DECLARE (D O’Brien) Blake Shinn 54kgs
- GRAND PROMENADE (C Maher & D Eustace) Harry Coffey 53kgs
- TRALEE ROSE (S Wilde) Dean Yendall 51.5kgs
- DAQIANSWEET JUNIOR (P Stokes) Daniel Moor 53kgs
- ARAPAHO (B Baker) Rachel King 52.5kgs
- CRYSTAL PEGASUS (C Waller) 52kgs
- SMOKIN’ ROMANS (C Maher & D Eustace) Jamie Kah 51.5kgs
- EMISSARY (M Moroney) Patrick Moloney 51.5kgs
- REALM OF FLOWERS (A & S Freedman) Damien Thornton 50kgs
- HIGH EMOCEAN (C Maher & D Eustace) 50kgs
- INTERPRETATION (C Maher & D Eustace) 50kg
- SERPENTINE (R Hickmott) John Allen 53.5kg
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