An agonisingly narrow defeat in the 1998 Epsom Handicap has fuelled jockey Christian Reith’s desire to go one better in the time-honoured Randwick mile this Saturday.
Reith will partner the Greg Eurell-trained Red Colossus in the $500,000 1600m feature and has been in good form, having ridden a treble on Shannon Stakes day at Rosehill last weekend.
“I got beaten about a nose by Dodge in the Epsom (in 1998),” Reith said.
“Super Slew was the horse that I was riding. I jumped from barrier 17, box-seated, hit the front with about 100 metres to go and then Dodge got all the way up along the fence to beat me.”
Reith, riding at 50.5kg that day, admitted he thought an Epsom victory was in his grasp when his mount raced to the front.
“So I’m desperate to win one after that,” he said.
Victorian-based Eurell has two runners in this year’s Epsom (1600m) with Red Colossus joining in-form mare Pinker Pinker.
Red Colossus, winner of the Group Three Victoria Handicap (1400m) at Caulfield earlier this preparation, came up with barrier 14 of 18 when the final field was declared on Wednesday.
“It’s a tough race but as long as I can give him a good ride, he’s got no weight on his back (52.5kg) so he should be competitive,” Reith said.
Reith has gone from strength to strength since returning to Sydney racing just over 18 months ago and believes, even if it’s not in the Epsom, that he’s on the verge of a breakthrough win at Group One level all those years after almost winning the big race at Randwick.
“Hopefully I’m not too far away from it (a Group One win),” he said.
“I’ve just got to keep doing what I’m doing and I believe I’m not far away.”