The next three days of racing will be no different to most others in Jeff Penza’s career in the saddle.
A committed jockey, Penza will ride at NSW race meetings on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
But at the end of that block there will be something different waiting for the jockey who covers more territory than most to ride a winner.
He will be part of the Cox Plate action and while he finds it hard to believe, Penza has prepared himself well.
Instead of getting ready for bush racing in NSW on Tuesday, Penza was out and about among the stars of the Australian turf during Moonee Valley’s Cox Plate trackwork extravaganza.
Penza was in Melbourne to ride Sons Of John, the horse which has graduated from being a Sydney midweek winner to a Group One placegetter in the Epsom Handicap in less than a year.
“I had to pinch myself to be at Moonee Valley,” Penza said.
Sons Of John is in Melbourne to run in the Crystal Mile for young trainer Jason Attard at Moonee Valley on Saturday and Penza will return for what will be a landmark ride on the Cox Plate undercard.
“I’ve ridden in every other state, I’ve ridden overseas but never been to Melbourne,” Penza said.
“I did have an offer to go and ride Here de Angels against Black Caviar on Cox Plate day (four years ago) but I knocked it back and sort of regretted not doing it that day.”
Penza and Attard will team up with Kellyville Flyer in the TAB.com.au Handicap at Warwick Farm on Wednesday.
The four-year-old has compiled a useful record of three wins and two placing in 14 starts but didn’t see out the distance when beaten into fifth place over 1900m at Canterbury at her most recent run.
Attard has dropped Kellyville Flyer back 300m in the hope the mare can improve marginally on her close fourth at Warwick Farm last month.