Tye Angland is confident he has finally been dealt a winning hand with three opportunities to salute for the first time in Victoria.
The Sydney jockey has three Group One bookings on Saturday’s Derby day program at Flemington with Ace High considered his best chance to savour success on a rare trip to Melbourne.
Angland teams with the David Payne-trained colt for the fourth time this preparation as they strive to add the Victoria Derby (2500m) to their victory in the Group One Spring Champion Stakes at Randwick last month.
Angland also rides Trapeze Artist in the Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) and Flying Jess in the Myer Classic (1600m).
“I’ve had under 20 rides down in Melbourne so to get an opportunity like this is very exciting,” Angland said.
“I’ve had placings here or there but this is the best book of rides I’ve ever had.”
Angland said his first Victoria Derby runner was his best ride after Ace High drew barrier three in the capacity field of 16.
“I’m pretty bullish. He’s drawn well and you can’t fault his runs or his work leading into it,” Angland said.
“Some of the chances have drawn wide which is an advantage. I should be able to put him in the right spot and roll him into the race at the right time.
“I’ve built a little bit of a relationship with him and he responds to my vigorous riding.”
Angland was also buoyed by having previous experience on Trapeze Artist and Flying Jess.
“The best thing about it is riding horses that I know quite well,” he said.
Angland rode Trapeze Artist for the first time in September’s Group One Golden Rose and retained the ride after steering the Gerald Ryan-trained three-year-old to a 4-1/4-length win.
Like Trapeze Artist, Flying Jess ($26) was a pick-up ride and his association with Caulfield trainer John Moloney strengthened once Angland guided the $101 shot to victory in the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas in January.
Although he is an experienced rider with Group One success in Hong Kong and Australia on his record, Angland admits Derby day is still daunting.
“You get the butterflies. It’s a big day. If you didn’t it wouldn’t mean much to you,” Angland said.
He realised Saturday could also be a stepping stone to more regular trips south.