Jye McNeil is having a break-out season to lead the Victorian jockeys’ premiership but that has not always translated to full books of rides in the metropolitan area.
The Chris Waller-trained Kings Will Dream gave McNeil his first Group One win in the Turnbull Stakes last spring.
McNeil received confirmation on Monday he was riding Kings Will Dream in Saturday’s Group One Australian Cup and galloped the gelding at Flemington on Tuesday, the first time he had been aboard since the Turnbull Stakes in October.
“I was happy to see barrier one,” McNeil said.
“Obviously there’s a bit of rain about and hopefully that doesn’t affect the draws too much but he drew low when he won the Turnbull so I was pretty happy to see that.
“He seems like he’s been going really well and I galloped him on Tuesday morning and he seemed very well within himself.
“I was happy with his work so I’m very excited to be back aboard him.”
While at Flemington on Tuesday, McNeil took the opportunity to partner the Anthony Cummings-trained Libertini for the first time when the filly worked down the straight 1200m course, the track she will race over in the Newmarket Handicap.
At her only start at Flemington, Libertini chased Exceedance and Bivouac home in the Group One Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) in November.
McNeil said he took Libertini to the top of the straight before galloping her over 800m, a hit-out that has the jockey looking forward to Saturday’s Group One sprint.
“She felt fantastic and gets in nicely in the weights and I’m really looking forward to riding her as well,” McNeil said.
* McNeil’s Flemington rides
Muntaseera – Group Three Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes ($1.90 fav)
Holyfield – Group Two VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes ($6)
Katalin – Nova100 Trophy ($4.20)
Meuse – Group Three Schweppervescence Trophy ($13)
Sikandarabad – Listed March Stakes ($8)
Libertini – Group One Newmarket Handicap ($9)
How Womantic – Group Two Kewney Stakes ($5.50)
Kings Will Dream – Group One Australian Cup ($7)
Hawker Hurricane – Listed Incognitus Stakes ($9)