Mon. Aug 15th, 2022

Champion jockey James McDonald is one step closer to driving race favorite Zaaki in Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley on Saturday week.

On Monday night, Racing Victoria (RV) announced that a possible route had been opened for Sydney jockeys to come to Melbourne for the Cox Plate meeting and four-day Flemington carnival.

“The Victorian Government’s travel permit system allows those in a red zone to request an exemption within the border to enter Victoria,” it read in an RV statement.

“Exceptions are limited and only given in special circumstances. The final decision on whether or not to grant a waiver rests with the Victorian Ministry of Health. ”

Earlier Monday, jockey Craig Williams was announced as the new rider of star-studded Anamoe in the Cox Plate, prompting further speculation that McDonald’s should be reunited with Zaaki in the weight-to-age exhibit.

Williams had ridden Zaaki to his shock defeat when he finished in third place as a $ 1.28 favorite behind Probabeel in the Group 1 Might And Power Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday.

Neds Caulfield Guineas

Anamoe will be ridden by Craig Williams in Cox Plate. Image: Scott Barbour – Racing Photos via Getty Images

If a Sydney hoop succeeds in obtaining a permit, the proposed six-day isolation period will mean jockeys will have to choose between riding at the Golden Eagle race meeting or the Melbourne Cup.

In McDonald’s case, if he gets permission in the coming days, he will have to begin his isolation on Sunday after Saturday’s The Everest meeting to face the six-day isolation period to win his first Cox Plate aboard the Zaaki.

“If a jockey from a red zone like Sydney is excluded, Racing Victoria will require the athlete to isolate and present a negative COVID test on day six in Victoria before they are allowed to participate in a Victorian racetrack or garden. licensed premises, ”the statement said.

“It is, of course, subject to all other conditions that the Victorian government may impose as part of an exemption for an athlete to enter Victoria.”

On a betting front, TAB Fixed Odds responded to the reservation of Williams aboard the Anamoe by fixing the Caulfield Guineas winner to a solid favorite at $ 5, while Zaaki maintained top billing at $ 2.80.

Anamoe carried 57kg to win Saturday’s Group 1 Caulfield Guineas, but will plunge weight to carry just 49.5kg in his Cox Plate task.

Damien Oliver guided Anamoe to victory in Caulfield Guineas, but cannot come down to 49.5 kg for the Cox record, and he is already engaged in the Gold Trip in the weight-to-age showpiece.

If Williams is successful at Anamoe in Cox Plate, it will be his third victory in the race after previous victories at Pinker Pinker (2011) and Fields Of Omagh (2006).

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