Lightweight jockey Dean Yendall has picked up the ride on the proven ‘two miler’ Unchain My Heart in the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington next Tuesday.
The David Hayes and Tom Dabernig trained Unchain My Heart snuck into the final spot in the top twenty-four of the Melbourne Cup following the withdrawal yesterday of one time favourite The Offer because of a leg injury.
But a final field position is not yet guaranteed for Unchain My Heart who could lose her spot if one of the many Melbourne Cup hopefuls can beat the ballot by winning either of the two Melbourne Cup exempt free races on Saturday, the Group 1 $1m Longines Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) or the Group 3 $300,000 Lexus Stakes (2500m).
Yendall’s ability to ride at the 51.5kgs has gained him the Melbourne Cup ride on Unchain My Heart but Tommy Berry has been engaged to ride the Al Maher mare in the Lexus Stakes with 56.5kgs.
Even though Unchain My Heart is one of the outsiders of the Melbourne Cup field with Ladbrokes.com.au at $201, she has the advantage of having won over the 3200m on two occasions.
“She’s proven over two miles at the track, obviously it’s been against a lot lesser grade, but David thinks she’s going well enough otherwise they wouldn’t pay up for her,” Yendall told Racing.com.
All of Unchain My Heart’s wins, except one, have been over 2000m and she proved her staying ability in winning the 2013 Listed $150,000 Andrew Ramsden Stakes over 3200m at Flemington and repeated that effort in winning this year’s version in May.
The hard working Yendall is currently on top of the Victorian jockey’s premiership with thirty-eight winners state wide, two ahead of three times Melbourne Cup winning jockey Damien Oliver and five head of last season’s Victorian premier jockey Brad Rawiller.
Yendall was rewarded for his hard work over the years with a ride in last Saturday’s Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on the Gai Waterhlouse trained three year old Wandjina and is looking forward to his second ride in the Melbourne Cup after partnering Niwot to finish eighth to Dunaden in 2011.
After racing on the pace, Wandjina joined the leaders on the home turn but faded in the short Moonee Valley straight to finish three and a half lengths tenth to the Irish galloper Adelaide.
“No doubt that’s all paying off and I’ve been very appreciative of all the support that I have had for the last couple of seasons and during the bigger race meetings,” Yendall said.
“And all going well, and with a bit of luck, I’ll be riding next Tuesday.”
Caulfield Cup winner Japanese stayer Admire Rakti heads up the market order for the Melbourne Cup at $4.80 in front of German galloper Protectionist at $7, Lucia Valentina at $7.50, Fawkner at $8.50 and the Irish stayer Mutual Regard at $10.