Leading jockey Zac Purton has been booked to ride Japanese stayer Admire Rakti in the 2014 Melbourne Cup at Flemington on November 4.
Connections of Admire Rakti confirmed last month that he will make the trip to Australia for the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) and they wasted no time booking Purton for the ride after he impressed during a recent riding stint in Japan.
Purton told Sky Racing HQ that he was delighted to be able to lock in his first Melbourne Cup ride since he finished 12th on Munsef in the 2009 edition of the race and believes that Admire Rakti has the talent to be competitive in ‘the race that stops a nation’.
“Obviously while I was over in Japan I did pretty well and they were impressed with the way I rode, so I was able to pick up one of their horses Admire Rakti,” Purton said.
“He ran fourth in the Japan Cup last year behind Gentildonna and it was a pretty good effort and after that he ran in the Tenno Sho and was probably a little bit flat over 3200, but he has form at the trip previously and if he gets there safe and sound I have no doubt that he will be one of the hardest horses to beat.
“The horse that won the other Bande seemed to be impressive over 2400 and he won by four or five lengths.
“My horse has got form around him and if they got turn up it could be a race between two again.
“Hopefully my guy has got his nose in front.”
Purton has also been booked to ride Admire Rakti in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 18 and at this stage connections are planning to run the Heart’s Cry entire in the $3.5 million event.
Admire Rakti has not been seen at the races since he finished 13th in the Group 1 Tenno Sho (3218m) at Kyoto on May 4, but he has been a consistent perform in Japan since making his debut at the end of 2012 and has recorded a victory over 3419 metres in the Group 3 Diamond Stakes at Tokyo on February 16.
Admire Rakti is currently on the third line of 2014 Melbourne Cup betting markets with Ladbrokes Australia at a quote of $17, while The Offer ($13) remains a narrow favourite from Bande ($15).