The Darren Weir camp on Tuesday opted for experience over youth, jockey Craig Williams picking up the ride on Testa Rossa mare Amelie’s Star who drew barrier 13 for the Caulfield Cup.
Williams was originally booked to ride the imported Japanese galloper Admire Deus in Saturday’s Group 1 $3 million BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) having invested time travelling over to the stayer’s native country to become familiar with the horse before his arrival down under. Unfortunately, Admire Deus has suffered a tendon injury and will no longer run.
Michael Dee was scheduled to ride the six-year-old daughter of Testa Rossa for the first time in the Caulfield Cup, but after the Admire Dues news Williams was quickly snapped up.
“The jockey change has been blown out of proportion,” Weir said.
“At the end of the day Micky Dee was booked at eight o’clock [on Monday night].
“He wasn’t sacked off the horse.
“He didn’t get off any other horse to get on my horse and he hadn’t ridden the horse before, so he had the ride for 12 hours.
“The owner was happy with Micky Dee, but when Craig Williams became available, he just thought it was in his best interests that Craig had more experience.”
Williams rode successive Caulfield Cup winners to victory aboard the Adelaide-trained mare Southern Speed (2011) and French raider Dunaden (2012).
He is no stranger to overcoming history and hoodoos either with his latest Caulfield Cup winning ride, Dunaden, having been the first to salute from wider than barrier 15 after doing it from the outside draw (18 of 18).
Dunaden was also the first original Caulfield Cup top weight to salute.
This weekend the weight is in favour of Amelie’s Star who gets in on just 51kg, but she will need to be improving after drawing gate 13.
Three Caulfield Cup champions have won from that alley in 30 years, including Viewed (2009), while five of the past eight got the job done from 10 or wider.
Amelie’s Star put the writing on the wall last time out winning the Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2500m) at Flemington by two lengths.
She is undefeated over the Caulfield Cup distance and shapes-up as a genuine lightweight chance.