After his first city treble, apprentice Jye McNeil gets a chance to chase a breakthrough stakes victory at Caulfield on Saturday.
McNeil will again link with two of the three horses he won on last Saturday at Sandown when they back up at Caulfield, including the Robbie Griffiths-trained Horacio in the Listed Thoroughbred Club Cup where apprentices cannot claim.
“Obviously I appreciate that a lot from Robbie and the owners and I’ve just got to make every opportunity count,” McNeil said.
“Just like riding a treble, they (stakes wins) don’t come around every day so if that could happen it would also be a dream come true.”
McNeil was first past the post in last year’s Albury Gold Cup on Fabriano but was denied his maiden stakes success in the stewards’ room when he was relegated to third after a protest.
The 19-year-old’s city claim was reduced from 3kg to 2kg when he notched his 20th metropolitan winner last weekend and he has five Caulfield rides, presenting a chance to edge closer to Harry Coffey in the statewide Victorian apprentices’ premiership.
Coffey has 56 wins in Victoria, one ahead of Patrick Moloney who is out injured and four ahead of McNeil.
Moloney’s 23 city wins is three more than Coffey and five more than McNeil.
“Obviously it would be very good to win it, but I’m not going to put any pressure on myself to do so,” McNeil said.
Horacio has been installed an $11 chance after his win in a restricted race over 1500m at Sandown.
“He’s got to step up in class but the way he won at Sandown last week he should be competitive with 54 (kilos),” McNeil said.
McNeil’s Caulfield book also includes Khutulun on whom he won on last Saturday, last-start Caulfield winner Tooleybuc Kid, Freshwater Storm and Jessy Belle.