Jockey James McDonald rides Ghisoni to win race 5, The Coolmore Surround Stakes, during Sydney racing at Royal Randwick Racecourse. Photo: bradleyphotos苏州美甲美睫培训学校419论坛 Wizard of Odds: Live Odds, Form and Alerts for all Racing
An untimely outbreak of the strangles virus has robbed Corey Brown of a chance to wind the clock back on the world’s richest race night in Dubai, but the Singapore-based expatriate will still take a trip down memory lane at Rosehill on Saturday.
Currently topping standings in the Singapore premiership race, Brown was in line to shadow three horses – including super sprinter Spalato and Derby-Gold Cup hero Quechua – to racing’s most lucrative carnival later this month before the strangles disease forced a lockdown on horses leaving the Asian nation.
Instead Brown’s March will be filled with a couple of return trips to Sydney for group 1 days, starting with the ride on Godolphin’s unbeaten filly Ghisoni as favourite for the Coolmore Classic, the race in which Brown chalked up his first major on Camino Rose in 1999.
“Hopefully it’s a bit of an omen,” Brown said. “It’s pretty disappointing [not being able to ride in Dubai]. I went there the first year Meydan was open and the weekend before the World Cup meeting was on I competed in the Jockey Challenge and then I went back on World Cup night for three rides.
“I’m more than willing to come home leaving on a Friday night and getting back home to ride on a Sunday. For mine this is the first time I’m heading home with a very good chance in a group 1 race.
“It hasn’t been by design to come home just for the super chances, it’s more being out of sight and there’s a lot of young kids in Australia. I’m always available if selected so to speak, but I think it’s been a little bit more out of sight out of mind.”
But his ability to ride at Ghisoni’s feather weight of 50kg was more than enough for trainer John O’Shea to seek out the services of Brown, who is mulling a permanent return to Australia at the end of the year.
The Melbourne Cup winner has improved his ability to ride light in the humid Singapore climate and was taken aback with the comments of Godolphin’s retained rider James McDonald after Ghisoni’s last win.
“I’ve watched her replays and obviously she’s been fairly impressive,” Brown said. “I was really happy with James’ post-race interview and that was what got me over the line as far as coming to ride the horse. When they rang and said could I ride that weight … listening to James and watching her last win, he was very impressed with her.
“I obviously spoke to [Godolphin assistant trainer] Darren Beadman for a while and he gave me a rundown on her and they’re also super excited about her so I was thankful to get the call.
“My weight’s really good. I’m not saying I’m there yet, but I have ridden 50 [kilograms] in the Gold Cup which was over 12 months ago. I haven’t got far to go now, but I’ve just been running – no saunas – and watching what I’ve been eating.”
An appetite to ride regular trackwork – something that Brown confesses wasn’t one of his strong points in Australia – has also helped open up a number of rides at light imposts.
“Don’t take this the wrong way, but I reckon I’ve ridden more [trackwork] over here in three years than I have in my whole career in Australia,” Brown said.
“I’ll ride a minimum of five – sometimes six – days a week and that would be five horses a morning and sometimes up to eight if you’ve got a busy weekend ahead of you. From what it was before I left home [the weight] is much better and easier to control here.”
Ghisoni was a solid $4.50 favourite with Ladbrokes on Thursday for the Coolmore Classic with Guy Walter Stakes heroine Solicit, gunning for a maiden group 1, joining Melbourne mare Azkadellia on the second line of betting at $5.50.
Brown’s Rosehill book will also include Kris Lees’ Twist Tops in the Magic Night Stakes and Craftiness in the Maurice McCarten Stakes.
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