Emerging young jockey Harry Coffey has snagged the ride on tough stayer Signoff in the 2016 Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 1.
Coffey has been aboard Signoff for his last three starts and prominent owner Gerry Ryan said the talented young rider would be keep on Signoff for his Melbourne Cup campaign.
“Harry’s on, he’s planted firmly on the horse. That would be a great story,” Ryan told racing.com’s Racing Ahead on RSN 927.
“He’s a quality young man, looking forward to him getting his first Melbourne Cup.”
Coffey had his first race ride on Signoff in the Listed $120,000 Lord Stakes (1700m) at Caulfield on December 26 last year but after the pair was first past the post, the Darren Weir trained gelding was disqualified after testing positive to a the banned substance Ibuprofen.
Signoff had been treated with Ibuprofen to help with the recovery of a tendon injury suffered when fourth to Protectionist in the 2014 Melbourne Cup and it was subsequently discovered that the drug stays in the horse’s system longer that originally thought.
Signoff was then off the scene again for another eight weeks before running second to Swacadelic in the Listed $150,000 Sporting Chance Cancer Foundatio0n Torney Night Cup (2500m) at Moonee Valley on February 19 with Coffey back in the saddle.
Coffey and Signoff them teamed up again two weeks later to record a six and a half lengths win in the Group 3 $120,000 James Boag’s Premium Lord Reims Stakes (2600m) at Morphettville on March 5.
Coffey has been on Signoff in recent track work and has reported to Ryan that the stayer is working along very well.
“Signoff is heading for the Melbourne Cup,” Ryan said.
“He’s in very good condition, the trainer’s very happy, so hopefully the journey can continue.”
“I spoke to him (Coffey) a few days ago after he rode the horse, and he gave me an update.”
“I’m looking forward to seeing Harry in the mounting yard on the first Tuesday in November.”
Signoff and Weir’s 2015 Melblurne Cup winner Prince Of Penzance will both step out for the first time in the 2016 Spring Carnival in the Group 1 $500,000 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 10.
In early Melbourne Cup betting at Ladbrokes.com.au Signoff is listed at $17 while Prince Of Penzance is marked as a $34 chance to defend his Melbourne Cup crown.
The Aidan O’Brien trained Order Of St George sits at the top of the market order at $11.