Jockey Nick Hall said today that his Melbourne Cup mount Jameka has improved since her runaway win in the Group 1 $3m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 15.
Jameka is one of the top fancies for the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on Tuesday and is on the second line of betting at $8 with Ladbrokes.com.au.
“I am pretty excited and very confident,” Hall said.
“I had a sit on Jameka last Thursday. She is probably going better than she was going into the Caulfield Cup so we are really happy.”
Jameka drew barrier three in the twenty-four horse Melbourne Cup field and Hall couldn’t have been happier with the inside drew and will have no trouble finding a good position in the first half of the field in the run to the winning post the first time.
“She shows good gate speed and gate three takes the pressure off a little bit,” Hall said.
“It means we can be a bit open minded about what we can do. We don’t really have to make too many decisions early.”
Hall is also pretty happy the weights for the Melbourne Cup were raised 1kg at acceptance time on Saturday to enable the equal top weights Big Orange and Our Ivanhowe to carry the mandatory 57kg top weight.
While Hall will have to watch his weight to ride Jameka at her 54.5kg, he is more comfortable this week than he was in the lead up to Caulfield Cup when he had to waste hard to get down to 52.5kg.
“Riding quite light, not as light as I did in the Caulfield Cup. By design I only took two other rides to just have a look around the track and get warmed up prior to the big one.”
Hall rides Terindah for trainer Robbie Griffiths in the $100,000 Schweppes #FlemingtonFling (1000m) and the Jon O’Connor trained Something More, third emergency in the Listed $150,000 Lexus Hybrid Plate (1400m).
Jameka ran three and a quarter lengths second to $5.50 Melbourne Cup favourite Hartnell two starts back in the Group 1 $500,000 Yellowglen Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 2 and the Godolphin owned Hartnell on 56kg will meet Maher’s mare 1.5kg better.
On the third line of betting at $8.50 is the Lexus Stakes winner Oceanographer who will also carry the Godolphin royal blue colours.