For Steven Arnold to have a live chance in the 2013 Melbourne Cup field is something that the heavy weight jockey thought would not happen again.
Arnold rides the Lloyd Williams owned Sea Moon in the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington today and gives himself a real chance of winning his first Melbourne Cup.
The very experienced Melbourne jockey is limited to the number of rides he has because of his weight and you will never see his name alongside a horse with less than 56kgs.
Arnold thought his time had come for a place in history when he rode So You Think in the 2010 Melbourne Cup after winning the Group 1 $3m Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley ten days earlier on the champion.
But Arnold thought that was the last throw of the dice when So You Think faded into third spot behind Americain and Maluckyday in the Melbourne Cup.
“I thought So You Think might be one of my last chances,” Arnold told AAP.
“He had 56.5kg and ran third and ran super. But because there are so many international horses and jockeys coming over now, they are sort of taking up the top spots which I usually get.
“I can only ride the top four or five (in the weights) usually so it’s making it harder to get rides, and that’s why I’m rapt this year to get a live chance up in the weights.”
Arnold also rues the one that got away when he had the choice of riding Gallic or Efficient for owner Lloyd Williams and opted for Gallic.
Gallic was a race morning scratching and Efficient went on to win, giving jockey Michael Rodd his first Melbourne Cup victory.
“But that’s the game, I suppose,” Arnold said.
“It would be great if this guy could do it for us.”
Sea Moon joined the Williams stable as one of the most highly rated imports the prominent owner has purchased from Europe and has found form at the right time.
Arnold takes over from Hugh Bowman who steered the six year old stallion to a grinding win in the Group 2 $220,000 Sportingbet Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield on October 12.
Sea Moon will carry 56.5kgs today and drops three kilos on that win and is the shortest priced runner of Williams’ six Melbourne Cup starters at $14.
Lasts year’s Melbourne Cup runner up Fiorente is the favourite and is marked at $7.50 to go one better this year with English stayer Mount Athos the second pick at $10.
The Marco Botti trained Dandino is next in the market order at $12 after running second to Fawkner ($16) in the Caulfield Cup while Irish trained Simenon is a $15 chance.
Seville and Hawkspur are both marked at $17 just ahead of Irish St Leger winner Voleuse De Coeurs at $18, Brown Panther at $19 and Dear Demi at $20.