Melbourne jockey Mark Zahra has been confirmed as the new rider for French raider Vadamos in the Group 1 $3m Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
Racing Victoria Stewards released a statement on twitter this morning that Zahra would ride Vadamos, replacing the Magic Man Joao Moreira who was booked to the Andre Fabre trained galloper but is hold up in Hong Kong with the impending arrival of Typhoon Haima.
Hong Kong’s leading jockey Moreira and Sam Clipperton who was booked to ride English in tonight’s Group 1 $1m Manikato Stakes (1200m) had to relinquish their Moonee Valley rides when Hong Kong stewards withdrew their permission to allow the two riders to travel to Melbourne.
Zahra was also the replacemant rider for Clipperton on the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained English.
With Hong Kong to endure some impact from Typhoom Haima over the weekend, Hong Kong stewards couldn’t risk the two jockeys being unable to return to Hong Kong for Sunday’s Sha Tin meeting.
“The concern is not them leaving but will they be able to get back here to ride on Sunday,” Hong Kong steward Steve Railton told The Sydney Morning Herald.
“There are two typhoons in the region and the one is supposed to hit Hong Kong on Friday and Saturday.”
“We had a situation last year where Joao Moreira and Zac Purton were not able to get back for one of our meetings after Group 1 rides in October and being our two champion riders it had a significant effect on betting turnover.
“With our racing and the smaller group of jockeys if Joao Moreira and Sam Clipperton were unable to get back it would mean significant late changes to riders, because they would both have full books, and flow-on effects on turnover.”
Zahra is the third jockey to be booked for Vadamos for the Cox Plate.
Damien Oliver was originally booked to ride the Group 1 winning European galloper but was replaced by Moreira when he was suspended for his ride on Flying Artie in the Group 3 $350,000 Catanach’s Jewellers Blue Sapphire Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on October 12.
Vadamos has excellent French form with two wins from his last three starts and the six year old heads to Moonee Valley on the back of a last start win in the Group 1 €450,000 QATAR Prix Du Moulin De Longchamp (1600m) at Chantilly, France on September 11.
Vadamos is currently listed at $17 in the Cox Plate market order at Ladbrokes.com.au who have the Chris Waller trained Winx as the firming $1.80 favourite ahead of Hartnell at $3.70.
Cox Plate market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $1.80 Winx, $3.70 Hartnell, $16 Yankee Rose, $17 Vadamos, $21 Hauraki, $26 Lucia Valentina, Black Heart Bart, $101 Awesome Rock, $101 Happy Clapper, $201 Happy Trails.