Leading Emirates Stakes contender Gingernuts will be ridden by Michael Dee in the Group One race at Flemington with Hugh Bowman losing an appeal against a careless riding suspension.
Te Akau Racing, which manages the syndicate that races the triple Group One winner, has turned to its former apprentice to guide the four-year-old on Saturday’s 2000m-race.
Stable rider Opie Bosson who has ridden Gingernuts to win the New Zealand Derby, Rosehill Guineas and Windsor Park Plate, will stay at home for the 2000 Guineas meeting at Riccarton in Christchurch this weekend.
Bowman, who rides Four Koalas in Thursday’s VRC Oaks at Flemington, will begin an 11-meeting suspension after the meeting.
He was outed for his ride on Warranty in a support race on the Melbourne Cup program and lost his appeal on Wednesday.
“Former Te Akau apprentice Mick Dee will now do the riding on Saturday,” Te Akau principal David Ellis told NZ Racing Desk.
A son of former trainer Richard, Dee started out as a probationary apprentice with trainers Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen.
He then transferred to trainer Kevin Myers and spent a period with Te Akau before completing his apprenticeship with Caulfield trainer Mick Price.
Dee has come of age this spring with Group One wins in The Metropolitan in Sydney on the Lloyd Williams-owned Foundry and Shillelagh in last Saturday’s Kennedy Mile for trainer Chris Waller.
The Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards-trained Gingernuts won the Windsor Park Plate on September 23 and was a close runner-up in the Livamol Classic which was rescheduled to October 22 when the original meeting was abandoned because of slippery conditions.
That put paid to his Cox Plate ambitions and he was diverted to the Emirates for which he is the $6.50 third favourite behind English visitor Folkswood ($5) and Cliff’s Edge ($5.50).