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Jockey Ben Melham has lost his battle to get down to She Will Reign’s light weight in the $10m The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 14.

Ben Melham, above on Golden Slipper winner She Will Reign, had to forgo the ride on the filly in The Everest at Randwick. Photo by Steve Hart.

Ben Melham, above on Golden Slipper winner She Will Reign, had to forgo the ride on the filly in The Everest at Randwick. Photo by Steve Hart.

Golden Slipper winner She Will Reign will only have to carry 51kg under the weight for age conditions of The Everest and the task of getting near that weight was too tough for Melham who had to let the ride go today.

Melham has been She Will Reign’s jockey on four of her five race starts and includes her last start win in the Group 1 $3.5m Longines Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill during the 2017 Sydney Autumn Carnival.

Melham had been keen to ride the Manhattan Rain filly in The Everest for slot holders Yu Long Investments and told trainer Gary Portelli that he would try his hardest to get down to the 51kg, but had to inform the trainer that it was impossible.

“I decided to let them know now while they’ve got plenty of time,” Melham told AAP.

“Obviously they’ve got limited options with that kind of weight and I didn’t want to get close to the date and work out it was going to be too light for me.

“It was a little bit disheartening as she’s a quality filly and I wish the connections the best of luck.”

“I trained for six or seven weeks and I would have liked to have had an extra kilo off from where I got to.”

“The lighter you get the last kilo or two can really be hell.

“I made an executive decision that it was beyond me.”

She Will Reign will resume in the Group 1 $500,000 Moir Stakes (1000m) at The Valley on September 29 with 50kg and already has had a jockey change.

With Melham originally out of contention for the Moir Stakes ride, Portelli had engaged Melbourne premiership winning jockey Craig Williams.

But Williams was also ruled out of contention for the Moir Stakes after receiving a twenty-three meetings careless riding suspension for causing interference that saw the Darren Weir trained Limestone clipping heels and dislodging Damian Lane at the 100m in the Group 2 $200,000 Danehill Stakes (1200m) at Flemington last Saturday.

Williams will miss three Group 1 meetings and will be free to return to the saddle after the Turnbull Stakes Race Day on October 7.

Melbourne Cup winning jockey Kerrin McEvoy then got the call up for the Moir Stakes and was quick to get a feel of She Will Reign in a 900m barrier trial win at Rosehill on Tuesday.

She Will Reign is currently marked at $8 at Ladbrokes.com.au for The Everest with the Team Hawkes trained Chautauqua at the top of the market at $5.

The Lindsay Park trained Vega Magic is also well in contention at $5.50 just ahead of Redzel and Menari at $6.50 and Redkirk Warrior at $7.50.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.


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