The final 2013 Melbourne Cup field could see three time winning jockey Glen Boss without a ride if English import Jet Away fails to win the Group 1 $1m Longines Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Boss will be riding Jet Away, the favourite for the $1m weight-for-age race, and the David Hayes trained import has to win to gain a start in the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on Tuesday.
The history making jockey who rode the great Makybe Diva to three consecutive Melbourne Cup victories from 2003 to 2005 said that if Jet Away failed to make the final field, he would be happy to sit on the sideline rather than punch around an outsider with no chance.
“I’ve been there and done it before, I have got a good record in the Melbourne Cup and I would like to keep it as good as I possibly can,” Boss told Racing Network.
“I think riding 50/1 shots or 100/1 shots is good when you are a young kid, it is great to have a ride in the race, at this stage of my career it really doesn’t get my blood racing to ride a 100/1 shot that I think has no hope.
“I would rather give it to someone else, give them the pleasure of riding in the Melbourne Cup, give them the thrill because it doesn’t really thrill me. I like to be competitive in every Group 1 that I contest in that is for sure.”
Jet Away made a late start to the Spring Carnival because of some minor problems but has impressed at his two starts this campaign but is still thirtieth in the order of entry for the Melbourne Cup and has to win the ballot free Mackinnon Stakes to gain automatic entry.
At his first Spring start Jet Away made up plenty of ground over the concluding stages to finish an eye catching seventh to Happy Trails in the Group 1 $500,000 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 5.
Then in the Group 1 $2.5m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 19 Damien Oliver had trouble settling the seven year old and had to make a long run from the 1300m, joined the leaders on the home turn and then then fought on tenaciously to fill fourth spot behind Fawkner.
“His form is obvious, the Turnbull Stakes run was there for everyone to see, he was impeded in the Turnbull, he should have finished very close and it has been the form race this spring, it has been a great race going forward,” Boss said.
“You just had to be blind Freddy to see his run in the Caulfield Cup. I’ve never witnessed a horse do that..”
“It is a throw at the stumps for me, if he doesn’t win the Mackinnon I’m without a ride in the Melbourne Cup, I think he is a worthy throw at the stumps, I think if he happens to do the right things he will be hard to beat.”
Jet Away is the $2.80 favourite for the Mackinnon Stakes with the Toorak Handicap winner Solzhenitsyn the second pick at $4.40.
While in the Melbourne Cup Jet Away is well in the betting at $14 and a win in the Mackinnon Stakes would shorten that price significantly.
The Luca Cumani trained Mount Athos has come in for some solid Melbourne Cup support and is now the $7.50 favourite in front of Fiorente at $8 and the French mare Verema and Irish St Leger winner Voleuse De Coeurs at $12.