Jockeys chase their Melbourne Cup dreams

First-timer Cory Parish is approaching the Melbourne Cup as if it is just another race.

The jockey would normally be riding somewhere like Echuca on Melbourne Cup day.

Parish had never ridden in a top-level race until two weeks ago, when he guided last-minute entry Boom Time to an upset win in the Group One Caulfield Cup.

Now the pair are lining up in the Melbourne Cup.

“You try not to think about it too much,” the 28-year-old said after being part of the Melbourne Cup parade.

“Obviously it’s just another race. Yes it’s a very prestigious race, but that’s how you’ve got to look at it.

“Just be there, enjoy it and not overthink it.”

Three-time Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Glen Boss shared some good advice with Parish.

“He said you just want to start well, you’ve got a good barrier and you pretty much want to turn the engine off, go to sleep and then start it back up and go again.

“Pretty much like any other race, just really take it in and enjoy it. That’s probably the best advice.”

Parish now has the chance to win the Caulfield/Melbourne Cup double.

“It’s just a dream to be able to ride in the race, that’s what your hope is through your whole career.

“If I could get the double would just be quite amazing.”

Kathy O’Hara, the only woman to ride in this year’s $6 million race, is feeling relaxed and confident ahead of her first Cup and happy that people are embracing Single Gaze.

For a time, it looked like Single Gaze, trained in Canberra by Nick Olive, might not make it back to the track at all after she and O’Hara crashed to the turf in the 2016 Australian Oaks.

“It’s a long way from being on the deck at Randwick to being in a Melbourne Cup,” O’Hara said.

“Never say never with this horse because you can’t discount anything with her.

“She’s always underrated. She’s always been an underdog.”

Winning a Melbourne Cup would be a dream come true, O’Hara said.

“It would mean the world to me, not only just me and my career but also to win for Nick and all of the owners in this horse.

“I know how much she means to everybody, so it would just be amazing.”

Beau Mertens is the only apprentice riding in this year’s Cup, aboard the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained Cismontane.

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