The 2013 Melbourne Cup field will be dominated by Lloyd Williams-owned stayers and the leading owner has decided on the jockeys who will ride his six charges in the Group 1 $6 million race at Flemington on Tuesday.
There were no real surprises in the Melbourne Cup jockey bookings; with Brett Prebble set to reunite with last year’s winner Green Moon, Nick Hall to partner Caulfield Cup winner Fawkner, Hugh Bowman to chase another Group 1 victory on The Metropolitan winner Seville and Michael Rodd to ride Masked Marvel after the pair combined to finish 13th in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley last Saturday.
Brenton Avdulla will make his Melbourne Cup debut on Mourayan, while Steven Arnold, who rides Mourayan in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington tomorrow, will take the ride on the highly rated Sea Moon who is currently available at 2013 Melbourne Cup odds of $13.
Arnold told RSN this morning that he would ride the Beat Hollow entire in ‘the race that stops a nation’ and said he is delighted to have picked up an opportunity on the world class stayer who is going into the Melbourne Cup on the back of a tough staying win in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m).
“Sea Moon will be my ride,” Arnold said.
“I’m not sure if Lloyd has sorted them all out yet but he is the one that is in my weight range and he is obviously among the chances so I would be wrapped to be on him.
“I’ve had a couple of rides on him and he is a really nice, staying type.
“He is a nice building type of horse in this work and he is always strong late.”
Sea Moon came to Australia as a highly-rated staying prospect, after his dominate win in the 2012 Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot, but took a while to acclimatize to the Australian conditions.
He had no luck in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) or Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) but has improved in each of his subsequent starts; losing the Listed The Bart Cummings (2520m) to Araldo on protest before recording his maiden Australian victory in the Hebert Power Stakes.
Arnold said that he is confident that the five-year-old still has plenty of improvement in front of him and will relish the step-up to 3200 metres in the 2013 Melbourne Cup at the start of next week.
“I think that getting to that trip will suit him, he is on the way up, and I think that if he gets back to his best form he is right among the chances.
“He has been winning but still below his best form so hopefully he is on the way up and can find that best form on the day.
“That would bring him right into the race.”
Arnold is chasing his first victory in the Melbourne Cup; with his previous best result his third place finish on So You Think in the 2010 edition of the race.