Mark Zahra has picked up the ride on Charlevoix at the expense of the injured Luke Nolen in the Group 1 $500,000 South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville on Saturday.
The Mick Kent trained Charlevoix was installed the $4.20 favourite for the South Australian Derby after winning the Listed $150,000 Ladbrokes Galilee Series Final (2400m) at Sandown on April 9 with Nolen in the saddle.
But Nolen is now out of action for several months after suffering multiple injuries when he was dislodged from Miss Promiscuity and trampled by another runner at the 700m in the Group 1 $400,000 UBET Classic (Registered as Robert Sangster Stakes) (1200m) at Morphettville last Saturday.
Nolen is still in intensive care in the Royal Adelaide Hospital but has been cleared of any spinal injuries and his wife Alicia tweeted that he would make a full recovery from his injuries that include a broken left collarbone, broken left shoulder blade, several broken ribs and some bruising to his liver and spleen.
“Luke Nolen has been cleared of any spinal injuries. Expected to make a full recovery and back riding in a couple of months. Best outcome,” Alicia Nolen tweeted.
Zahra has ridden the lightly raced Charlevoix in two of his four race starts for a debut win in a 1400m Sandown Maiden on February 3 followed by a sixth to Tally in the Group 2 $200,000 Ladbrokes Caulfield Autumn Classic (1800m) at Caulfield on February 27.
Zahra was back on board the New Approach colt at track work on Monday and was happy with the early morning gallop.
“He went well this morning,” Zahra told racing.com
“He is a big lazy bloke. He is never going to show you too much but I just sat in behind a couple and brought him out in the straight and he quickened up nicely.”
“He has just got to hold his form.”
“His win last start was very impressive, as long as he can hold that.
“It is unfortunate what has happened to Luke I wish him all the best.”
The Lee and Anthony Freedman trained Cool Chap and Darren Weir’s Howard Be Thy Name share the second line of betting at $6 ahead of the Godolphin pair of Tarquin at $7 and Etymology at $13.
Cool Chap is coming of a last start win in the Listed $200,000 VRC St Leger (2800m) at Flemington on April 25 while Howard Be Thy Name claimed a hat trick of wins with his victory in the Group 3 $120,000 Chairman’s Stakes (2020m) at Morphettville on April 30.