Katelyn Mallyon will get the chance to pick the brain of last year’s Melbourne Cup winning jockey, Michelle Payne, as she prepares for ‘the race that stops the nation’ on Tuesday.
It’s quite a lonely place in the female jockey rooms at Flemington, but that will prove invaluable for Mallyon as she preps for the day’s races alongside Payne, who last year became the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup.
Mallyon said she would seek advice from Payne, who does not have a ride in the $6.2 million feature race.
“It’ll be me and her so yeah I’m sure we’ll have a couple of words,” she told AAP.
“It’s amazing what Michelle did last year. I hope that I can follow in her footsteps.”
Mallyon will saddle up on Assign, a Lloyd Williams-owned six-year-old gelding, and is excited about her chances.
“He’s definitely a big chance he’s had a faultless preparation,” Mallyon said during Derby Day at Flemington.
“He’s going into the Cup better than ever.”
Assign will start at the juicy odds of $81 with TAB Sportsbet.
Earlier English raider Oceanographer surged into Cup calculations by storming home to win the Lexus Stakes (2,500m).
The Godolphin horse booked one of the 24 Cup berths by overhauling the much-fancied Tom Melbourne, and is now the $5.50 second favourite on Tuesday.
“The stable said try to time your run and I was wrapped when I straightened up and I had Tom Melbourne to aim at,” jockey Kerrin McEvoy said.
British trainer Charlie Appleby said he expected Oceanographer to have no trouble coping with the three-day turnaround.
“I say well done to the team and they have done a great job getting this horse freshened up after this last start,” Appleby said.
Godolphin Melbourne Cup Update: Hartnell (Blue Cap), Beautiful Romance (White), Oceanographer (Red), Secret Number (Black), Qewy (Yellow) pic.twitter.com/U8OcN0jRmH
— Godolphin (@godolphin) October 29, 2016
“Whether he can win the Cup I don’t know, but he can back up for sure … he came out of the last race so well, bucking and kicking, and the sunshine on his back will do him a power of good.”
Chad Schofield will ride Oceanographer, who was issued a 1kg penalty for his victory and will carry 52kg in the Cup.
The Victoria Racing Club committee met after the last race on Derby Day to discuss the merits of the field and whether they would use discretionary powers to change the ballot order.
Rose Of Virginia, beaten by more than 15 lengths in the Lexus Stakes, scraped into the field, with VRC Chairman Michael Burn saying there was no compelling reason to take the mare out of the 24-horse field.
Tom Melbourne and Lexus Stakes fourth placegetter De Little Engine took their place among the chosen 24, with Real Love and Tally withdrawing. Caulfield Cup winner Jameka, who shifted a shoe at track work on Friday, passed a veterinary exam on Derby Day is clear to start in the Cup.
THE 2016 MELBOURNE CUP FIELD
1 BIG ORANGE (GB) Michael Bell, Jamie Spencer (Barrier 7) 57kg
2 OUR IVANHOWE Lee & Anthony Freedman, Dwayne Dunn (Barrier 6) 57kg
3 CURREN MIROTIC (JPN) Osamu Hirata, Tommy Berry (Barrier 18) 56.5kg
4 BONDI BEACH (IRE) Aidan O’Brien, Ryan Moore (Barrier 5) 56kg
6 HARTNELL John O’Shea, James McDonald (Barrier 12) 56kg
7 WHO SHOT THEBARMAN Chris Waller, Hugh Bowman (Barrier 20) 56kg
8 WICKLOW BRAVE (GB) William Mullins, Frankie Dettori (Barrier 24) 56kg
9 ALMOONQITH David & B Hayes & T Dabernig, Michael Walker (Barrier 19) 54.5kg
10 GALLANTE Robert Hickmott, Blake Shinn (Barrier 2) 54.5kg
11 GRAND MARSHAL Chris Waller, Ben Melham (Barrier9) 54.5kg
12 JAMEKA Ciaron Maher, Nicholas Hall (Barrier 3) 54.5kg (pen 2kg)
13 HEARTBREAK CITY (IRE) Tony Martin, Joao Moreira (Barrier 23) 54kg
14 SIR JOHN HAWKWOOD John P Thompson, Blake Spriggs (Barrier 14) 54kg (1.5kg)
15 EXCESS KNOWLEDGE Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott Vlad Duric (21) 53.5kg
16 BEAUTIFUL ROMANCE (GB) Saeed Bin Suroor Damian Lane (1) 52.5kg
17 ALMANDIN Robert Hickmott Kerrin McEvoy (17) 52kg (1kg)
18 ASSIGN Robert Hickmott Ms Katelyn Mallyon (22) 52kg (1kg)
19 GREY LION Matt Cumani Glen Boss (16) 52kg
20 OCEANOGRAPHER (GB) Charlie Appleby, Chad Schofield (Barrier 11) 52kg (1kg)
21 SECRET NUMBER (GB) Saeed Bin Suroor, Stephen Baster (Barrier 10) 52kg
22 PENTATHLON (NZ) John Wheeler, Mark Du Plessis (Barrier 4) 51.5kg
23 QEWY (GB) Charlie Appleby, Craig Williams (Barrier 15) 51.5kg (0.5kg)
24 ROSE OF VIRGINIA Lee & Shannon Hope, Ben E Thompson (a) (Barrier 8) 51kg