In-form jockey Billy Egan has been recalled to replace the suspended Ben Melham on Southern Moon in Saturday’s Group 1 $2m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington.
Egan was aboard Southern Moon when he broke through for his Maiden win at Donald two starts back before Melham rode the grey colt into second spot in the Listed $140,000 Roderick Insurance Brokers Geelong Classic (2200m) at Geelong on October 23.
Melham had a careless riding suspension appeal dismissed on Tuesday, opening the way for Egan to be re-united with the Mitch Freedman trained three year old.
“He (Billy Egan) rode him at Donald, so he’s been on the horse,” Freedman told racing.com.
“It’s not only that, though, he’s probably riding in as good a form as anyone in the state at the moment.
“I’m more than happy to have him on.”
Egan has been riding in splendid form with three winners for trainer Patrick Payne in the last week with Double You Tee at The Valley last Friday night followed by a double at Benalla on Monday on Molicious and Lady Marizza.
Southern Moon will now jump from barrier seven following the early scratching of the Danny O’Brien trained Serious Liaison and his price has been hovering around the $13 mark at Ladbrokes.com.au.
The Mark Newnham trained Shadow Hero is holding down a narrow margin for favouritism at $3.40 just ahead of Thought Of That at $3.90 and Soul Patch at $4.60.
Shadow Hero is coming off a last start win in the Group 1 $1m Moet & Chandon Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on October 12 and will jump from the barrier nine while Ladbrokes Classic winner Thought Of That came up with the rails draw with Mark Zahra replacing Linda Meech.
Betting for the 2019 Victoria Derby at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.40 Shadow Hero, $3.90 Thought Of That, $4.60 Soul Patch, $8 Warning, $13 Southern Moon, $17 Relucent, $18 Long Jack, $31 Huntly Castle, $34 Independent Road, Translator, $71 He Is, $81 Craftsmanship, $101 Sign Seal Deliver, $151 Navarre, $201 Lucky Edward.