Apprentice Michael Dee is excited about the opportunity to ride for racing powerhouse Godolphin in the first Group One race of the Australian season.
He even gave up a near-full book of rides at Moonee Valley last weekend to be free to ride Tally when he resumes in Saturday’s Group One Memsie Stakes at Caulfield.
Dee was suspended at Geelong last Wednesday week and started his suspension before the Moonee Valley meeting in order to be back in time for Memsie Stakes day at which he has six rides, including four for Godolphin trainer John O’Shea.
“Obviously I have started to do a bit of riding for them but I’m pretty thankful for the ride, especially in a Group One,” Dee said.
Tally will be having his first start since finishing third in the Australian Derby (2400m) in Sydney in April which came after four wins in a row in Victoria, including two Group Two races over 1800m and 2040m.
“He really stepped up to the mark last preparation putting a few wins together on end and then it was a huge run in the Derby to run third,” Dee said.
“Obviously tomorrow he’s fresh up and he’s got a pretty awkward barrier. John has said just get him back and relaxed, follow something into the race and he’d like to see him finishing off really well.”
Tally is at $41 in a quality field which includes seven Group One winners, but if he could sprint over the top of his rivals fresh it would be a breakthrough at the elite level for both horse and rider.
Dee has ridden in five Group One races in Australia since moving to Victoria last year and another five in his native New Zealand, with a fourth placing in the Newmarket Handicap on Churchill Dancer his best finish.
“It would be great for my career and winning a Group One is every jockey’s dream,” Dee said.
O’Shea said Tally had matured since the autumn.
Godolphin has indicated Tally will take a traditional path towards the Caulfield Cup.
“He went out after his autumn campaign as a teenager and has returned as a young man,” O’Shea said.
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au