New Cox Plate jockey Ben Melham got aquainted with Puissance De Lune at Warrnambool yesterday in anticipation of his replacing of Glen Boss in Saturday’s Group 1 $3m weight for age championship at Moonee Valley.
Owner Gerry Ryan and trainer Darren Weir had Melham travel to Warrnambool yesterday morning to get a feel of the grey pending the outcome of Boss’ appeal against a twelve meeting careless riding suspension handed down to him by Racing Victoria stewards at Caulfield last Saturday.
Boss wasn’t happy with the dismissal of his appeal but accepted the Judge’s decision and will now turn his attention to helping Melham and the rest of the team win the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) with Puissance De Lune.
“I will be ringing Ben and helping him out. We have all put in a power of work to get a result,” Boss told Racing Network.
Melham is hoping that history can repeat itself after he was called up to replace the suspended Luke Nolen on Black Caviar before the mighty mare won the 2010 Group 1 $1m Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) at Flemington.
Ryan said earlier in the week no matter what the outcome in the Cox Plate Boss would be back on Puissance De Lune in the Group 1 $6.2m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 5.
“Glen has been with us all the way through and this is most unfortunate. However, I can’t see anyway, win or whatever in the Cox Plate, that he won’t ride Puissance De Lune in the Melbourne Cup,” Ryan told the Herald Sun.
“It is really unfortunate for Glen. We were all primed for the Cox Plate, everything going perfectly to plan. But that’s racing. We still have a horse who is sound and fit and ready to go.”
“He told me the work was outstanding and the horse was cherry ripe and how much he was looking forward to the ride.”
With the scratching of hot favourite Atlantic Jewel from the Cox Plate due to a leg injury, Puissance De Lune is now on the second line of betting at $4.40, just behind new favourite It’s A Dundeel at $4.
The Gai Waterhouse trained Fiorente is also high up in the betting at $4.60 with Caulfield Guineas winner Long John at $9.