Dee a chance at more Group One success

Michael Dee has no doubt his success during the spring carnival has led to him riding Gingernuts in the $2 million Emirates Stakes.

And the 21-year-old is hoping to make his latest opportunity count.

Dee notched his first Group One win in The Metropolitan in Sydney on Foundry in late September.

He then added another on the Chris Waller-trained Shillelagh in last Saturday’s Myer Classic at Flemington.

A suspension to Australia’s leading Group One rider Hugh Bowman on Tuesday led New Zealand’s Te Akau Racing to book Dee for Gingernuts in Saturday’s 2000m Group One weight-for-age race at Flemington.

“It’s been a good spring. Almost a breakthrough spring for me,” Dee said.

“If I hadn’t won those Group Ones I would have probably been no chance.

“Now that I have won two Group Ones, they realise that and it probably made it a bit easier (to give me the ride).”

Gingernuts is prepared by Te Akau’s co-trainers Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards and is a Group One winner in Australia and New Zealand.

Dee, who hails from New Zealand, moved to Australia just under three years ago having spent three months during his apprenticeship on loan to then Te Akau Racing trainer Jason Bridgman.

Gingernuts is the $6 second favourite.

“It’s a good pick up,” Dee said.

“I knew my manager was trying to get the ride once Hugh Bowman was suspended.

“I’ve seen pretty much all of his races and I know he’s a good horse and a decent ride in the race.

“We’ll just need a bit of luck from that draw (barrier 12).”

The Charlie Appleby-trained international visitor Folkswood is the $5 favourite for what is his main Melbourne spring carnival target.

Folkswood won the Listed Cranbourne Cup last month and then finished third to champion Winx and Humidor in the Cox Plate.

“Folkswood came out of the Cox Plate in good form and has prepped well going into this race,” Appleby said.

“A repeat performance of that run will put him bang on here.”

The Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra-trained Odeon is set to back up after winning a Listed 1800m race impressively at Flemington on Tuesday.

“He has pulled up really well,” Zahra said.

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