Long shot could be a dream come true for Vow and Declare
HORSE RACING: Vow and Declare had one of Australia’s greatest jockeys on board when he toughed out an incredible Melbourne Cup victory last year, making history in the process.
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In just a few hours, the Danny O’Brien-trained, Gympie-owned gelding will be a long shot to go back to back in the race that stops a nation.
And this time he won’t be partnered up with legendary rider Craig Williams, but with the comparatively unknown Jamie Mott.
The 32-year-old jockey enters the Cup with no Group 1 wins to his name, and yesterday admitted he was in shock to be handed the reins to last year’s champion.
“I wouldn’t have believed you if you said 12 months’ ago I’d be riding him, that’s for sure,” Mott told Racing.com.
“I knew I was a chance to ride him at the end of last week and I cantered him around on Friday morning.
“I didn’t want to get ahead of myself in case it didn’t pan out, but they said I was a big chance and then on Saturday afternoon I was confirmed. It’s great.
“He was nice and bright and fresh and felt like he was ready to go, which is a good sign.
“He ticks the 3200-metre box, and there’s a lot of horses that probably are a query at the two miles, and if the blinkers fire him up – they can really get them back in form first time on – I can imagine him running a really good race.”
It will be only the second Melbourne Cup for Mott, who told Racing.com it would be “fantastic” for his dream to come true with O’Brien’s horse.
“I was apprenticed to Danny for a couple of years and then when I came back as a senior I was doing a lot of riding for him,” he said.
“If the dream was to come true it would be fantastic for it to be with him.”
Mott and Vow and Declare will jump in the Cup at 2pm local time.