Three rides at Caulfield on Saturday including Almoonqith in the Caulfield cup and seven rides at Wyong on Sunday is how Michael Walker (pictured) will spend his weekend but there is a huge motivation behind the trip.
The former top New Zealand jockey now based in Melbourne will fly to Sydney on Saturday night then head to Wyong to link with former New Zealand trainer John Sargent who has six runners at the meeting.
Sargent will start Not to Be Caught in the Rapid Clean Catering Maiden (2100m) as one of two final lead ups to the $1 million Group One Crown Oaks at Flemington next month.
“Michael is contracted to Go Bloodstock who own the filly and they want to ride her in the Oaks,” Sargent said.
“He is coming up to ride her at Wyong and get a feel for her.
“She will then go to Melbourne to run in the Wakeful then go on to the Oaks the following Thursday.
“This might seem like an unusual path to take with her but she is a staying filly and I have done it before.”
Gust Of Wind is one horse that comes to mind.
Sargent sent her to Scone to win a maiden in dramatic circumstances and a Class One at Hawkesbury before she ran fourth in the Adrian Knox then won the ATC Oaks and later ran fourth in last year’s Caulfield cup and sixth in the Melbourne Cup.
Walker’s other rides for Sargent are Call The Coppers (The Entrance Leagues Club Maiden), Celestial Choice (Warren Richardson Birthday Maiden), Tennessee Man (Central Coast Cleaning Contractors Maiden), Echappe (Richeeney Benchmark 60) and Rainbow Park (Rapid Clean Safety Benchmark 65).
Walker’s seventh ride is Thorn In My Wide for Bryce Heys in the Rapid Clean Cleaning Benchmark 60.
“Michael rode a lot for me while I was in New Zealand and it is good for a provincial meeting like this to attract him away from Victoria at such an important time and have an almost full book of rides,” Sargent said.
“It’s his first time at Wyong so he has been looking at tapes of races there to familiarise himself with the track and plans to get there early and walk the track.
“It should be an enjoyable day.”
1-1.30, THE ENTRANCE LEAGUES CLUB MAIDEN, 1000m: CALL THE COPPERS 1, Postmaster General 2, Shadow Fighter 3, Solar Girl 4.
2-2.05, RAPID CLEAN CATERING MAIDEN, 2100m: NOT TO BE CAUGHT 1, Loud Enough 2, Mozart’s Work 3, Perpetual Motion 4.
3-2.40, WARREN RICHARDSON BIRTHDAY MAIDEN, 1200m: MARIQUITA 1, Eighth Keeper 2, Mr Tickets 3, Lattimer 4.
4-3.15, RAPID CLEAN CLEANING BENCHMARK 60, 1100m: THORN IN MY SIDE 1, Five Stars Partner 2, Kamehameha 3, I Am Captain 4.
5-3.50, CENTRAL COAST CLEANING CONTRACTORS MAIDEN, 1350m: SCHIFTY THINKER 1, Uptown Lad 2, Snipes 3, Alpha Son 4.
6-4.25, RAPID CLEAN PACKAGING CLASS TWO, 1350m: BRIGHT FUTURE 1, Bogie 2, Silent Dream 3, Houdini Hal 4.
7-5.00, RICHEENEY BENCHMARK 60, 1100m: SWEET SURPRISE 1, Kate’s Pearl 2, Phoebe’s Lass 3, Echappe 4.
8-5.40, RAPID CLEAN SAFETY BENCHMARK 65, 1600m: CHICAGO STOMP 1, Rainbow Park 2, Undoubtable 3, The Iron Maiden 4.
Best Bets: Not To Be Caught, Chicago Stomp.