English star Hollie Doyle has put in an “ambitious” bid to partner exciting stayer Soulcombe in the Melbourne Cup in two months.
Doyle told Racing.com on Monday night that she had reached out to Soulcombe’s trainer Chris Waller and managing owner Ozzie Kheir to ride the horse in the Melbourne Cup as she has a successful history with the stayer.
“I won the Melrose (Handicap at York August, 2022) on him when he was trained by Willilam Haggas, so I do know the horse,” she said. “I don’t have high expectations to get the ride but if you don’t ask, you don’t get I suppose.
“Obviously, he won at the weekend, and it was just an idea, an ambitious one, but who knows?
“To just get a ride in the Melbourne Cup would be great let alone on a chance with a horse like Soulcombe.”
Blake Shinn is keen to continue his association with Soulcombe after partnering him to a breathtaking win in the Heatherlie Handicap at Caulfield last Saturday, but he may not be in the position to ride him in the Melbourne Cup.
The handicaps for the Melbourne Cup are issued in a fortnight but it is widely expected that Soulcombe will attract a Cup weight of about 53kgs, which could prove too low for Shinn.
Kheir said he had received an email from Doyle and confirmed that while no Melbourne Cup rider will be secured before weights are announced, the lightweight rider, who could down to the Melbourne Cup minimum, was a contender for Soulcombe.
“She is certainly in the mix,” Kheir said.
Doyle, who is the most successful female rider in British racing history, is set to ride at the final three of the four days of the Flemington carnival with her partner and fellow UK star Tom Marquand but she said she understood securing mounts would not be easy.
“We’ve got a few people trying to help out, but I do know how hard it is to get rides at that (Cup) meeting, so I’m just hoping.”