Repaying a mentor with a big win in Saturday’s Caulfield Cup would mean plenty to jockey Ben Melham.
Melham will ride Buckhurst for prominent Melbourne owner Lloyd Williams in the Caulfield Cup. The duo has gone close but just missed wins in major Australian races in recent years.
Melham was narrowly beaten on Homesman in the 2018 Caulfield Cup and ran third on Johannes Vermeer in 2017.
Johannes Vermeer went on to run a close second with Melham aboard in that year’s Melbourne Cup. Melham said he was desperate to win a big race for Williams.
“We’ve come awfully close and I gave him a call and said, ‘I need to win one this year’,” Melham said.
Williams gave Melham the ride on the Joseph O’Brien-trained Buckhurst in the Caulfield Cup before the jockey attempts to win the Melbourne Cup for the veteran owner on Master Of Reality.
Ben Melham (right) was narrowly beaten aboard Johannes Vermeer in Rekindling’s Melbourne Cup in 2017. Photo: AAP Image/Julian Smith.Source:AAP
Melham said Williams was a valued resource with his depth of racing knowledge.
“I speak to Lloyd quite regularly. He’s been in the game a long time at the highest level and I run a few things by him,” Melham said.
“He’s a wealth of knowledge and been a big help to my career.”
Melham gained first-hand knowledge of Buckhurst in a gallop at Werribee on Thursday.
Buckhurst was always under a tight hold before finishing off a 1400m hit out on terms with Twilight Payment.
Melham said the feel Buckhurst gave him, and a perfect barrier draw in gate nine, left him confident the son of Australia would be around the mark in the Caulfield Cup.
“He seems in the zone and he really carried me to the line,” Melham said.
“I could see how the horse could be really complacent at times but I think the blinkers will really help him.
“He’s a lovely horse and I’m really happy with the draw. I can’t see why he won’t run well.”
Buckhurst has remained steady at $11 in TAB’s Caulfield Cup betting market.
Originally published asMelham and mentor chasing Cup win
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