An excited Regan Bayliss will get a taste of Group 1 racing after being called up to ride fourth emergency Renew in the Group 1 $3m Crown Golden Ale Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Renew gained a place in the eighteen horse field after the Clarry Conners trained Dear Demi became the fourth scratching on a dramatic Caulfield Cup eve which saw all four emergencies gain a start in the Spring Carnival staying feature.
Bayliss has made an impressive start to his brief riding career and currently leads the Melbourne apprentices’ premiership with nine season wins and has been rewarded with a ride in one of the most prestigious races during the Melbourne Spring Carnival.
The talented seventeen year old has also been engaged to ride the Brian Cox trained Minnie Downs in the Group 2 $200,000 Schweppes Tristarc Stakes (1400m).
“I was happy enough riding in the Group 2, but to be riding in the Caulfield Cup will be amazing,” Bayliss told Racing.com.
“The Caulfield Cup is the elite, it’s the best jockeys in the world and Australia, so to have a ride in it I know I’m very, very privileged.”
Rookie trainer Archie Alexander is just as excited to have a Caulfield Cup runner after only holding his Victorian trainer’s licence since July after spending time with overseas trainers including champion Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien.
Renew will only be Alexander’s eighth starter but the Englishman has already visited the winners’ stall with stable star Tyanna at Seymour on September 25.
“It’s gone from a normal Friday in Ballarat to being pretty mad,” Alexander said.
“It’s great to be a part of it. It’s a real privilege. The Caulfield Cup is something people dream about for a long time and I’ve been fortunate enough to get there.”
“It’s very exciting to have a Caulfield Cup runner although a little bit odd.”
The Ballarat trainer was only handed Renew to train after the English stayer finished twelfth at his Australian debut to Big Memory in the Group 2 $200,000 Sportingbet Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield on October 11 while under the care of Newmarket trainer Marco Botti.
Prominent owners Simon O’Donnell and Terry Henderson from OTI Racing already had a couple of horses in Alexander’s Ballarat stables and were happy to add Renew to his small team.
“We have had a pretty short relationship but he has settled in well,” Alexander said.
Renew shares the honour of being the $201 outsider with third emergency Unchain My Heart, but Alexander is very excited just to be saddling up a runner the richest 2400m Handicap in the world.
“I know the horse is a long shot but it’s great to have him there.”
Turnbull Stakes winner Lucia Valentina is the clear cut favourite at $3.80 for the Caulfield Cup with Ladbrokes.com.au ahead of the Peter Moody pair of Brambles, $9, and Lidari, $9.50, who also race in the blue, gold and white colours of OTI Racing.
The best supported runner of Chris Waller’s four Caulfield Cup starters is Junoob who also is solid in the betting at $10 with Admire Rakti while Australian Oaks winner Rising Romance is marked at $14.