Richard Jolly is hoping six-year-old gelding Alcohol can play a part in Dwayne Dunn’s push for the Melbourne premiership.
South Australian-based Jolly has snapped up Dunn to ride Alcohol in the 1600m handicap at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
The jockey is two wins behind joint leaders Craig Williams and Damien Oliver in the race for the Melbourne title but gets the chance to peg them back with his rivals both in England to ride at Royal Ascot.
Dunn has a full book of rides at the metropolitan meeting at Ballarat on Wednesday before Saturday’s Moonee Valley meeting.
“I’ve known Dwayne for a long time and he’s ridden winners for me, and he has won on this horse as well so it was a logical choice,” Jolly said.
Alcohol is one of two horses Jolly has nominated for Moonee Valley but 2013 South Australian Derby runner-up Hioctdane will instead race at Morphettville chasing his fourth-straight win this campaign.
Alcohol was scratched from the recent Swan Hill Cup because of a bruised heel but Jolly said he had recovered quickly.
The son of Bianconi has won twice from five starts in Melbourne.
After Alcohol’s two placings in Adelaide this campaign, Jolly looked at the interstate race as there were no suitable options in South Australia.
“He’s been to the Valley before and won there as a three-year-old and he’s quite a good quality horse,” Jolly said.
“He’ll acquit himself pretty well as he always does.
“He had a good gallop on Saturday and a good gallop this morning and he’s pulled up all right from that, so I’m happy to be putting him on the float.”
Jolly decided against the float trip for Hioctdane who runs in a 1950m race.
“It’s a suitable race and we don’t have to travel,” Jolly said.
Jolly said Hioctdane “lost his way” after his three-year-old season but had got his confidence up again.
“He’s come back this time and just seems to have got that bit of a will back and a bit of confidence up and he’s firing, which is good,” he said.