The Melbourne Cup ride on Dear Demi has been reassured by Chris Munce who has declared himself fit after having to be stood down from riding at Eagle Farm on Saturday after falling ill.
Munce blamed the heat for his giddiness and had to relinquish his remaining mounts after ‘seeing stars’ following his ride on two-year-old Runaway Angel in the opening race of the day.
“Good as gold today, it was just a really hot day up here on Saturday,” Munce told Racenet.com.au.
Queensland Racing chairman of stewards Daniel Aurisch said he knew that there was something amiss when Munce stopped riding Runaway Angel before the winning post.
“But obviously he was in no fit state to be questioned. He was seeing stars and feeling faint,” Aurisch said.
Munce enjoys the big race atmosphere and the Grand Slam winning jockey can’t wait to get back to Flemington to ride the Clarry Conners trained Dear Demi and attempt to win his second Melbourne Cup after saluting on Jezabeel in 1998.
“Really looking forward to getting down there,” Munce said.
“She competed well at weight-for-age before running third in the Caulfield Cup and will carry just 51kg.
“She’s had a good grounding and loves Flemington.”
“I reckon there is a question on about half the field running out the 3200 metres but her Caulfield Cup was a good pointer.”
Munce will get a feel of Dear Demi in the Group 1 $1m Longines Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Saturday before lining up in the Group 1 $6.2m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on Tuesday.
Dear Demi has shown her affinity with Flemington and was a convincing winner last year of the Group 1 $1m Crown Oaks (2500m) and two thirds at Group 1 level from her last three Spring Carnival starts has the Dehere mare primed to run another mighty race.
Her run in the Group 1 $2.5m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 19 was first class with James McDonald having to place her near the tail of the field after jumping from the outside gate before making up ground along the fence to be beaten only a length and a half by Fawkner.
Dear Demi, one of forty-seven runners remaining in the Melbourne Cup after second acceptances today, is marked as a $41 chance.
Gai Waterhouse’s import Fiorente remains at the top of the market order at $6 with the Luca Cumani trained English stayer Mount Athos the second favourite at $9 with rival English visitor Dandino at $12.
French galloper Varema and Irish St Leger winner Voleuse De Coeurs share the $13 line just ahead of the Chris Waller trained Hawkspur who has drifted in the betting and is now a $14 chance alongside of Jet Away and Seville.