Golden Slipper winning jockey Ben Melham has started the long hard process of trying to get his weight down to the 51kg that She Will Reign will have to carry in the $10m The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 14.
Melham was She Will Reign’s regular jockey throughout the Sydney Autumn Carnival which included a glittering win in the Group 1 $3.5m Longines Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on March 18 and naturally he is keen to keep the ride in the Spring.
“I’ve started now, and I’ll just gradually wear my weight down until game day,” Melham told racing.com.
“It’s a long road ahead but hopefully we can reap the rewards.
“Spring is just around the corner now so it’s the time of the year to be fit and have your weight down.
“It is my minimum weight, but at least I’m going to be fit and light for the spring.”
Melham has set himself an enormous task to try to get down to 51kg, which is 1kg lighter than his lightest riding weight in the past decade which was 52kg when he rode Folding Gear into seventh place behind Dunaden in the 2012 Group 1 $2.5m Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield.
Melham has already missed out on the ride on the Gary Portelli trained filly’s Spring Carnival pipe opener in the Group 1 $500,000 Moir Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley on September 29.
Portelli has already locked in leading Melbourne jockey Craig Williams for the Moir Stakes assignment which will see She Will Reign only get 50kg under the weight for scale, way below what Melham would be able to ride at that time.
“Ben has told me he’s working towards getting down to that weight but 50 kilos in the Moir Stakes is too light for him,” Portelli told the Herald Sun.
Early betting for The Everest at Ladbrokes.com.au has She Will Reign as the second pick at $7 behind Team Hawkes’ super sprinter Chautauqua at $4.80.
Early market order for the 2017 The Everest at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.80 Chautauqua, $7 She Will Reign, $8 Caravaggio, $11 Winx, $13 English, Lady Aurelia, $15 Russian Revolution, Houtzen, $17 Spieth, $21 Fell Swoop, Limato, Vega Magic, $26 Acapulco, Black Heart Bart, Lankan Rupee, Bound For Nowhere, Mecca’s Angel, Redzel, Terravista, $34, Global Glamour, Malaguerra, Music Magnate, Takedown, $41 or better the rest.