Leading apprentice Chad Schofield will make his 2013 Melbourne Cup debut after picking up the ride on Lexus Stakes winner Ruscello.
It has already been a big 2013 Spring Racing Carnival for Schofield, who won the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) on Shamus Award, and he has the opportunity to continue his historic run when he partners Ed Walker-trained Ruscello who will have just 50kg on his bag in the Group 1 event at Flemington on Tuesday.
Ruscello was ridden by Kerrin McEvoy to win the Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) at Flemington this afternoon, and secure his place in the 2013 Melbourne Cup final field, but McEvoy is already booked to ride Godolphin stayer Royal Empire and Glen Boss declined the opportunity to ride the imported stayer, freeing up the ride for Schofield.
Schofield was delighted to earn a start in the 2013 Melbourne Cup and already has his eyes set on becoming the first jockey since Boss on Makybe Diva in 2005 to win the Cox Plate and the Melbourne in the same year.
“Maybe I can make it a Cox Plate/Melbourne Cup double,” Schofield told TVN.
Boss was seen speaking with OTI Racing co-founders Terry Henderson and Simon O’Donnell, after Jet Away failed to earn a start in the 2013 Melbourne Cup field when he finished fifth in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) but knocked back the opportunity to score his fourth victory in the Melbourne Cup.
“I don’t think he can win,” a blunt Boss told TVN.
“I don’t think the Lexus was much of a race and they walked up the straight.”
James Cummings revealed that Boss will ride Precedence if the veteran stayer can earn a start in the 2013 Melbourne Cup field but that appears unlikely; with the Drake International Cup winner currently sitting 25th in the Melbourne Cup order of entry.
Ruscello has shortened significantly in 2013 Melbourne Cup betting markets and is now available at odds of $26, while the battle for favoritism between Fiorente and Mount Athos has taken another turn; with both horses quoted at $7.50 from Verema ($12), Voleuse De Coeurs ($12), Dandino ($13) and Sea Moon ($13).