Illness forces Payne to miss key ride

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The Melbourne Cup-winning jockey told trainer Jane Chapple-Hyam she wouldn’t be fit enough to ride at Caulfield on Saturday after missing trackwork for the second time in four days.

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Luke Nolen has been given the ride after discussions with Kaspersky’s owners Ernest and Ronda Clarke. The Clarkes indicated Payne would be given every chance to reclaim the mount, regardless of whether Kaspersky challenges Winx in the Cox Plate or heads to the Cantala Stakes at Flemington on Derby day.

Chapple-Hyam said Payne deserved credit “for putting her hand up” and saying she couldn’t ride in a Group 1 race.

Michelle Payne will miss the ride on Kaspersky in the Toorak Handicap on Saturday. Picture: Michael Klein

Michelle Payne will miss the ride on Kaspersky in the Toorak Handicap on Saturday. Picture: Michael KleinSource:News Corp Australia

“I think if someone’s crook or ill or whatever word you want to use and they admit they’re not able to ride a horse then good on her for putting her hand up and saying she’s not 100 per cent,” Chapple-Hyam said.

“And that’s all the Clarkes and I ask for. I think we’ve found a very good replacement. There’s lots of flu going around Melbourne at the moment. I’ve got a bit of a head cold myself.

“So, unfortunately, she’s not able to ride and we’ve gone and engaged Luke Nolen. Mr and Mrs Clarke (owners Ernest and Ronda) are happy with that and I’m happy with that.”

Payne was badly injured in a fall at Mildura last year.

Chapple-Hyam said Kaspersky’s performance in the Toorak would shape plans for the rest of the spring.

Trainer Jane Chapple-Hyam says Kaspersky could run in the Cox Plate or Cantala Stakes after the Toorak.

Trainer Jane Chapple-Hyam says Kaspersky could run in the Cox Plate or Cantala Stakes after the Toorak.Source:AAP

“I’ve got to sit down with Mr and Mrs Clarke and even bring Michelle into the conversation and Luke and we’ll just see whether we’re going for the Cox Plate or we’ve got the alternative on Derby Day, the Cantala,” she said.

“The horse is good. He did a nice gallop on Sunday and we’re just ticking him over until race day. His race weight is all good and he’s eating well. We’re looking forward to it.”

Hugh Bowman has chosen Marmelo as his Melbourne Cup mount, leaving Tiberian’s connections to secure another rider.

Bowman made the decision after considering the formlines of both last-start winners after losing the ride on former Cup favourite Red Cardinal to Ryan Moore.

Kaspersky has settled in well at Werribee.

Kaspersky has settled in well at Werribee.Source:AAP

Marmelo will attempt to emulate the deeds of fellow imports Americain (2010) and Protectionist, who both won the Prix Kergorlay at Deauville before landing the Melbourne Cup.

Bowman will also ride Marmelo in Saturday week’s Caulfield Cup.

His decision leaves Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock’s Darren Dance to sift through the claims of a number of riders eager to partner Tiberian. Winner of three of his past four starts, including the Prix Deauville, Tiberian is a TAB $21 chance.

Joao Moreira is riding Wicklow Brave in the Caulfield Cup, while Glen Boss will take the mount on Cox Plate aspirant Riven Light in the $1 million Caulfield Stakes on Saturday.

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