Jockey Dom Tourneur’s Melbourne Cup carnival moment arrived a few days later than he wanted at Flemington on Tuesday.
Tourneur, the jockey best known for his association with Alcopop, missed the gelding’s biggest win when connections replaced him with Craig Williams in the Group One Mackinnon Stakes on Saturday.
But he was quick to repay a favour on another South Australian-trained galloper when he took Eclair Surprise to victory in the Listed Diamond Jubilee Plate (1800m) at Flemington on Tuesday.
A regular rider for the five-year-old’s trainer Phillip Stokes, Tourneur was rewarded for his diligent work with a Melbourne Cup day ride in the Plate.
And he quickly got the job done, beating Grey Assignment by a half head with the $5 favourite Tribal Rock third.
Stokes said he was confident Eclair Surprise would perform well after the gelding won the Murray Bridge Cup at his last start following a second at Morphettville at his only other run this campaign.
Both times Tourneur was aboard.
“Dom knows the horse really well,” Stokes said.
“He’s a very good rider. He does a lot of riding for us at home and we really wanted to reward him today.”
Stokes said the key to riding Eclair Surprise was “producing late and riding for luck”.
He also believes Eclair Surprise is improving steadily and hopes he can develop into a reliable stayer.
“The horse is going great,” Stokes said.
“He’s had a great prep coming into this and he’s come on from the Murray Bridge Cup so we were pretty confident.”