Jockey Damian Lane has been overlooked for the Melbourne Cup ride on Humidor but has picked up the mount on Hartnell in the famous two miler at Flemington on November 7.
Blake Shinn was snapped up by the Darren Weir stable to replace the suspended Lane on Humidor in the Group 1 $3m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley last Saturday and the top line Sydney jockey combined with the five year old to be runner up to Winx.
Weir said that the connections were happy to keep Shinn on Humidor for the Group 1 $6.25m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) on the first Tuesday in November.
“The owners, 50 per cent of the horse is owned in New Zealand, and they were very keen to stick with Blake and another guy who had a share in it wanted to stick with Blake too,” Weir said on SEN Breakfast.
“So at this stage Blake Shinn will be riding him.”
Lane was then booked to ride Hartnell who was a surprise inclusion when second acceptances were taken today for the Melbourne Cup after it was thought that the seven year old would be targeted towards the Group 1 $2m Emirates Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on November 11 on the last day of the four day Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Hartnell has gone around in the last two runnings of the Melbourne Cup for a fifteenth to Prince Of Penzance in 2015 and a third to Almandin last year with 56kg.
The Robert Hickmott trained Almandin has 56.5kg this year, up 4.5kg on his winning weight of 52kg last year while Hartnell has been handicapped with 57.5kg, up 1.5kg on his 2016 weight.
Lane had been the regular rider for Humidor since January, only missing one of his previous ten starts before the Ladbrokes Cox Plate and included two Group 1 wins on the gelding in the $1.5m Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington during the 2017 Melbourne Autumn Carnival and in the $750,000 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington in the early part of the Spring Carnival.
Lane was also aboard Humidor two starts back when Weir was critical of his ride when fifth to Boom Time in the Group 1 $3.15m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 21.
Hartnell kicked off his Spring Carnival campaign with a bang, scoring first up in the Group 2 $200,000 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 19 before filling the runner’s up stall at his next two starts in the Makybe Diva Stakes and in the Group 1 $750,000 Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on October 1.
Hartnell then put in his worse performance of the Spring with a lacklustre ninth to Gailo Chop in the Group 1 $1m Ladbrokes Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on October 14.
Humidor has climbed back up the Melbourne Cup market order at Ladbrokes.com.au and is now the second favourite at $7.50 following his excellent second to Winx in the Ladbrokes Cox Plate while Hartnell is way down in the betting at $34.
Early betting for the 2017 Melbourne Cup at Ladbrokes.com.au: $6.50 Almandin, $7.50 Humidor, $8 Marmelo, $11 Johannes Vermeer, Red Cardinal, Wall Of Fire, $15 Rekindling, $17 Thomas Hobson, Max Dynamite, $21 Big Duke, $26 Amelie’s Star, Harlem, Single Gaze, $31 Tiberian, Boom Time, $34 Nakeeta, Abbey Marie, Jon Snow, Ventura Storm, Who Shot Thebarman, Hartnell, $41 US Army Ranger, Wicklow Brave, Bondi Beach, $51 or better the rest.