Damian Lane says it’s a privilege to be one of 24 jockeys to take part in the Melbourne Cup.
The 21-year-old will have his first ride in the Cup when he partners English horse Quest For More in Tuesday’s 3200m race at Flemington.
Tommy Berry was booked for Quest For More in the Caulfield Cup but when the horse failed to gain a start he rode Trip To Paris to second place and will stick with the Ed Dunlop-trained stayer in the Melbourne Cup.
Lane headed to the Werribee quarantine centre on Wednesday morning to have his first ride on the Roger Charlton-trained Quest For More.
“It’s a great opportunity,” Lane said.
“There’s only 24 boys that get a go at it each year and for any jockey it’s something you aspire to do.”
Lane said Quest For More was not out to beat the clock in his work-out over 1400 metres and followed fellow Cup contender Snow Sky.
Quest For More beat just one runner home in the Geelong Cup won by Almoonqith, leaving connections disappointed.
But Lane says getting up to 3200m at Flemington should suit as Quest For More has form that ties in with fellow international Cup raiders Max Dynamite, Big Orange and Trip To Paris.
“There was no big reason for his run at Geelong but a few little niggly things that they’ve got him over now,” Lane said.
“He’s a genuine two-miler so hopefully that helps as well.”
Lane said the gelding had the tactical speed to race forward at Flemington and with a long stride would be able to keep his momentum going.
Quest For More has a strange head carriage but Lane said he could deal with it.
“You try and get his head up and get him travelling but he doesn’t like it,” Lane said.
“With that one feel of him I’ll let him do his thing and let him get in a nice rhythm.”