Melbourne Cup favourite Admire Rakti will be suited by the bigger open spaces of Flemington according to his globetrotting jockey Zac Purton.
The Hong Kong premiership winning jockey steered Admire Rakti to an historical win in the Group 1 $3m Crown Golden Ale Caulfield Cup (2400m) on the tight turning Caulfield circuit on October 18.
And Purton is confident that the star Japanese stayer will be better suited when he steps up to the 3200m at Flemington today for the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup.
Even though Admire Rakti has to carry the topweight of 58.5kgs, the Tomoyuki Umeda trained seven year old remains the favourite with Ladbrokes.com.au at $6 after easing slightly from yesterday’s quote of $5.50.
“Getting to the longer distance should really suit him,” Purton wrote in his blog on Racing.com.
“The stable always thought that he was going to be better at Flemington and at 3200m and they actually thought that he might struggle in the Caulfield Cup.
“It’s a completely different race this time, Caulfield is a lot sharper going into the bends and everyone is in a little bit more of a hurry.”
“In the Melbourne Cup they’re going to be taking their time a little bit more and I think that will really suit my horse because he was a little bit sloppy out of the gates at Caulfield.”
Purton flew in from Hong Kong relaxed and said that he can’t believe that has such a great opportunity to win the Melbourne Cup on the well fancied Admire Rakti.
“Even though I’ve been overseas, it’s always the race that I’ve tuned into and watched with the most amount of interest of any and it’s pretty exciting to now have a realistic chance of being able to win the race,” Purton wrote.
“I’ve always had to work hard for everything I’ve achieved and I never envisaged that I’d be in the position that I am now. I’ve been very lucky and have had good opportunities but when you get those opportunities you have to make the most of them and hopefully I can continue to do that.
“I think the fact that I’ve been riding in Hong Kong and haven’t been swept up in the hype of the Melbourne Cup has been a big help. I wasn’t able to go to the parade because I was in transit to Melbourne and I obviously don’t get the chance to go to some of the functions that the local jockeys might attend.”
Purton’s pre-race plan is to let Admire Rakti settle in a comfortable position heading out the straight the first time and that should that shouldn’t be a problem from barrier seven.
“My plan is just to ride my horse wherever he is going to be comfortable, get him into his rhythm and hopefully he’ll carry me through and do the rest. If I can get him to travel kindly in the run, he’s always going to give you his best,” Purton added.
Latest Melbourne Cup market order: $6 Admire Rakti, $7.50 Fawkner, Lucia Valentina, $8 Signoff, Protectionist, $10 Mutual Regard, $21 Red Cadeaux, Who Shot Thebarman, $26 Junoob, Willing Foe, Araldo, $34 My Ambivalent, $61 Brambles, Opinion, $71 Gatewood, Lidari $81 Seismos, Au Revoir, Royal Diamond, Precedence, $201 Mr O’Ceirin, Unchain My Heart.