Hong Kong-based jockey Douglas Whyte has been booked to ride Moriarty in the 2014 Kingston Town Classic at Ascot on Saturday.
Nash Rawiller was set to take the ride on Moriarty in the Kingston Town Classic after he finished a fast-finishing third on the imported galloper in Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot on November 22, but leading hoop was unable to take up the ride after he received a three meeting suspension for careless riding during the Happy Valley meeting on Wednesday night – his third suspension in the past month.
Whyte will be returning to Australia for the first time since he finished seventh on Waller-trained Junoob in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 18 and Waller stable racing manager Liam Prior said that the stable were very happy to have the prolific Group 1 winner on Moriarty in the Kingston Town Classic.
“Chris was really taken by the professionalism and commitment Douglas exhibited on Caulfield Cup,” Prior told TVN.
“It was a seamless decision.”
Whyte has previous experience at Ascot after he was brought out from Hong Kong to ride at the Super Saturday meeting last year and took out the Listed Tattersalls Cup (2100m) with Black Tycoon, but was unable to record a maiden win at Group 1 level in Australia when he partnered Grand Nirvana.
While Whyte is still chasing an elusive win at the highest level of racing in Australia, he has an excellent chance of ending that drought in the Kingston Town Classic and Moriarty is currently favourite in betting markets for the Group 1 event.
Moriarty started his 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with promising performances in the Group 3 Show County Quality (1200m) at Royal Randwick on August 23 and the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at the same venue on September 6, but finished at the tail of the field in the Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m).
The Clodovil gelding returned to his best form with an upset win over Rising Romance in the Group 3 Craven Plate (2000m) on October 4 and missed the placings in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) and Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) before his eye-catching third in the Railway Stakes.
Moriarty is currently available at 2014 Kingston Town Classic odds of $4.60 and is a narrow favourite in the betting market with Ladbrokes Australia from Railway Stakes winner Elite Belle ($5), runner-up Balmont Girl ($7), talented three-year-old Disposition ($7.50) and Gai Waterhouse-trained Pheidon ($9).