Best known for his associaiton with the legendary Makybe Diva, leading Australian jockey has ridden more than 2,400 winners, including 90 at the top level.
Irish challenger faces Zaaki and Verry Elleegant in ten-runner field for Australia’s most prestigious weight-for-age race.
A week ahead of the big race the former Aidan O’Brien-trained horse broke down during routine exercise at Moonee Valley and vets were unable to save him.
Unbeaten in four starts in New Zealand, the five-year-old won the G3 Sandown Stakes on his most recent start since crossing the Tasman.
Melbourne Cup-winning trainer Joseph O’Brien has made a late nomination into the A$5 million Moonee Valley contest for State Of Rest.
The ex-Sir Michael Stoute-trained Zaaki announced himself as a major new star on the scene by putting seven lengths between himself and the next finisher Toffee Tongue.
The five-year-old mare continued Japan’s domination of Hong Kong’s Queen Elizabeth II Cup when becoming her nation’s sixth winner of the HK$25 million feature.
The Newmarket trainer has confirmed that he was approached about an immediate rematch.