Maitland jockey Dylan Gibbons will become just the second Hunter jockey to ride a horse in the Melbourne Cup this afternoon.
The 22-year-old will guide Irish trainer Joseph O’Brien’s Okita Soushi down the 3200-metre track – O’Brien has won the iconic race twice before.
Gibbons has won a Group 1 race, earlier this year he rode Newcastle horse trainer Kris Lees’ Explosive Jack across the finish line of the Sydney Cup back in April.
Lees only has one runner in the Melbourne Cup, Kalapour, after he had to withdraw Cleveland late yesterday due to an elevated temperature.
Lees said he believes in Kalapour, but he will have to take his running to a whole other level to win.
“To be fair, he has to go to another level, he won well on Saturday to scrape into the field.
“This is certainly a different grade today, but he’s a very fit horse, he’s well, he’s got no weight on his back and he could easily run this race today,” he said.
Also in the race this afternoon is Hunter-based syndicate Australian Bloodstock’s Gold Trip who won the Melbourne Cup last year.
The race jumps at 3pm.