Glyn Schofield has become acquainted with his Melbourne Cup ride Nakeeta and trainer Iain Jardine.
A South African-raised jockey riding for a Scottish trainer on a horse owned in England in Australia’s most famous race.
That’s the scenario for Nakeeta when he runs in Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup at Flemington.
Now based in Sydney, Glyn Schofield rides Nakeeta for owners Alex and Janet Card and Iain Jardine, the first Scottish trainer to have a runner in the Cup.
Schofield, who won last year’s Victoria Derby on Prized Icon, partnered Nakeeta, a $26 chance in latest Cup markets, for the first time in a gallop at the Werribee quarantine facility on Thursday.
Although Nakeeta was not out to break the clock, Schofield was impressed with the way he handled himself.
“He’s not a big strapping horse. He’s a little fellow, quite lively but he certainly gave me a nice piece of work this morning,” Schofield said.
“He got into a nice rhythm and stretched his legs out nicely and pulled up without a blow.
“He’s obviously very clear-winded and gave me a really good feel.”
Schofield thinks Nakeeta is the right style of horse and has the form credentials to win the Melbourne Cup.
He is coming off a win in the Ebor, the UK’s biggest Handicap, at York at his most recent outing in August.
Last year’s Cup runner-up Heartbreak City won the Ebor carrying less weight than Nakeeta but more weight when second to Almandin.
Nakeeta won the Ebor with 57kg and drops to 53kg on Tuesday.
Schofield said the Ebor was a good form race to take into account heading to the Melbourne Cup.
“He’s an Ebor winner which has good form lines going into the race over a number of years,” Schofield said.
“He’s a type of horse that weaves through the field and has a bit of a fight.
“I didn’t realise the style of horse that he is until I’ve seen him and sat on him, but he did impress and that’s a good thing.
“Your first impression is the most important and I’m going out feeling confident in the horse.”