Champion Hong Kong jockey Joao Moreira has been confirmed as the rider for Melbourne Cup favourite Constantinople at Flemington on Tuesday.
Sydney based jockey Glen Boss had been booked to ride Constantinople in the Group 1 $8m Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) and was set to appeal a careless riding suspension on Monday, hoping to be cleared to ride on Tuesday.
Moreira had been tentatively booked to ride the Lindsay Park trained Irish import if Boss failed in his appeal, but Sky Racing’s Andrew Bensley has reported that Moreira would only fly to Melbourne if he had the ride in the Melbourne Cup.
“The decision has been made by the owners that star jockey Joao Moreira will ride the favourite Constantinople in Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup. Didn’t want to wait for Glen Boss appeal hearing on Monday,” Sky Racing’s Andrew Bensley tweeted.
Constantinople ran a huge Melbourne Cup trial when fourth to Mer De Glace in the Group 1 $5.15m Stella Artois Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 19 and Lindsay Park’s head trainer David Hayes said that the import has progressed in great order.
“Really really happy with him,” David Hayes said.
“He did a nice piece of work (on Tuesday). He wasn’t out to break records but he picked up the stablemate well, ran right through the line, which shows that he is looking for two miles. So he is in good shape.”
“He ran a great race in the Caulfield Cup, but there had to be natural improvement. Normally their second run out the quarantine they improve a little bit so hopefully he does.”
Betting for the 2019 Melbourne Cup at Ladbrokes.com.au has Constantinople marked as the $7.50 favourite ahead of the Caulfield Cup winner Mer De Glace at $8.50 and the Chris Waller trained Finche at $11.
Betting for the 2019 Melbourne Cup at Ladbrokes.com.au: $7.50 Constantinople, $8.50 Mer De Glace, $11 Finche, $12 Il Paradiso, Vow And Decalre, $14 Surprise Baby, $17 Latrobe, Master Of Reality, Raymond Tusk, $18 Mustajeer, $19 Magic Wand, Prince Of Arran, $26 Southern France, $34 Downdraft, Mirage Dancer, Youngstar, $41 Hunting Horn, $51 Steel Prince, $61 Rostropovich, True Self, Twilight Payment, $81 or better the rest.