James Winks has been booked to ride Deep Field in the 2015 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes after regular hoop Dwayne Dunn had his appeal against the severity of his suspension dismissed.
Dunn pleaded guilty to the charge of careless riding for allowing his mount Top Me Up shift in when insufficiently clear of Stylish Assassin at the 800 metre mark of the Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) at Caulfield on Saturday and he was handed a eight race meetings suspension by Racing Victoria stewards.
The in-form hoop was quick to lodge an appeal against the severity of the ban in order to allow him to partner Deep Field when he makes his Group 1 debut in the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes this weekend, but his appeal was dismissed and he will be unable to return to riding until Sunday.
Dunn was clearly disappointed with the result of his hearing and he told AAP that he was gutted to miss out on his chance to ride the undefeated sprinter, but he remains confident that the son of Northern Meteor can increase his value as a stallion prospect with a win at Flemington this weekend.
“You don’t want to be missing big races and big meetings,” Dunn said.
“I was well-supported by Team Hawkes to wait and see what the outcome was and unfortunately it hasn’t gone my way.
“Deep Field is a superstar and he could potentially go on to do anything, so it’s unfortunate to miss the ride through suspension.
“Obviously he’s got to go to this level but he’s shown us he’s more than capable of being Group One class.
“Hopefully on Saturday he ticks that box.”
Winks has not partnered Deep Field in any of his five previous race starts, but has previously been trusted with high profile rides for Team Hawkes; riding the valuable colt Headwater in his racing debut at Moonee Valley on December 27 and partnering Toydini in the Group 1 Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
The talented hoop is chasing his first win at Group 1 level since he steered Star Witness to victory in the 2010 edition of the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) and he will be riding in the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes for the first time since he finished at the tail of the field on Tollesprit in the 2011 edition of the race.
Deep Field is currently available at 2015 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes odds of $2.30 with Ladbrokes and is a narrow favourite from Lankan Rupee ($2.35) and Brazen Beau ($5.50).