Jockey Ben Melham is free to ride Stradbroke Handicap winner Mid Summer Music at Eagle Farm tomorrow after being granted a stay of proceedings pending his appeal against a careless riding suspension.
Melham was booked early in the week to ride Mid Summer Music in the Group 1 $500,000 Sky Racing Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) at Eagle Farm tomorrow but had to wait until today to get the all clear to fulfil his engagement.
Racing Victoria Stewards resumed the inquiry on Wednesday into Katelyn Mallyon’s fall from Deliver The Dream at Flemington on May 19 when the young apprentice sustained spinal injuries.
Stewards found Melham guilty of careless riding in that he allowed his mount Freereturn to shift in at the 150m causing Deliver The Dream to fall and dislodge Mallyon.
Melham was sent out for twenty meetings and the suspension was due to begin today, Friday but that was put back with a stay of proceedings being granted until the appeal can be heard on Monday.
With stable rider Luke Nolen is in England to ride super mare Black Caviar in the Group 1 £500,000 The Diamond Jubilee Stakes (6 furlongs) at Royal Ascot on Saturday, Peter Moody called on the services of Melham to replace Nolen after having success on Mid Summer Music in the past.
The pair combined to take out the Group 3 $125,000 KS Environmental Cockram Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on August 13 last year and their most recent effort was a third to Black Caviar in the Group 1 $1m Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) at Flemington over the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Moody will have to watch the Tiara from England but admits the mare has the job ahead of her after drawing one from the outside in the eighteen horse field and even though she won the Group 1 $1m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) on a dead track, her preference is on a rain affected surface.
“That fact (that the track condition may not suit) and the barrier suggests she will need every bit of help, but she is in great shape,” Moody said.
“This is the race she has been targeted at.”
Melham is happy to be back on the six year old in a Group 1 but also agrees that he will have to be at the top of his game.
“She’ll need luck, no doubt,” Melham said.
“But she’s a really underrated mare.”
“I guess I’ll have to go back and try to hook on to something like Soft Sand, who is also drawn out and likely to go back.”
Mid Summer Music is sharing the third line of betting at $7 with Dane Ripper Stakes winner Red Tracer while the two Melbourne fillies head the market order with Soft Sand at $4.80 and Shopaholic at $5.50.