Rekindling rider Corey Brown lands Melbourne Cup ride on Magic Circle
Ace Australian rider Corey Brown has only just arrived in Britain for Saturday's Shergar Cup but regardless of events at Ascot he will not be flying home empty-handed after landing the Melbourne Cup ride aboard leading hope Magic Circle.
Brown, 42, who won his country's biggest race with the Joseph O'Brien-trained Rekindling last year, will take over from regular rider Fran Berry aboard Magic Circle, as Berry is unable to carry the low weight required for the Group 1 handicap.
The Ian Williams-trained six-year-old, who is generally 20-1 for the Cup, is set to tackle the race that stops the nation following impressive six-length victories in the Chester Cup and the Henry II Stakes at Sandown.
The Australian jockey said: "Paul Webster [jockeys' agent] has sent through a few replays of him, and I just love the way he hit the line in his last run.
"He’s going to come into the race off a light weight. Paul also works with Zac Purton, and last year he suggested to ride the first [Rekindling] and the third [Max Dynamite], so his judgement is pretty good."
He added: "The races are run differently, we hold them up and let them sprint home. With this horse [Magic Circle] I really liked how quickly he could accelerate. We both like what we saw with this horse so it made sense to grab the opportunity quickly.
"For him to make the call this early out surprised me a little bit, but he was happy enough to take it and I’m happy enough to ride him."
Owner Marwan Koukash had a live chance of a winner in Flemington's November feature with Mount Athos in 2012, but the 13-2 second favourite could only finish fifth.
Magic Circle provided Koukash with a fourth win in the Chester Cup as an owner, and could go to York's Ebor festival before heading to Australia.
The owner said: "Corey is a very capable rider and he won the race last year and can make the weight. With the provisional weight we expect, Fran won't be able to make it.
"We're very excited, he's doing very well at home. We might go to York for the Lonsdale Cup, but we'll see what the entries are like and think how much it will effect his mark.
"Corey is very excited about the horse which is always a big positive, and he is an A1 rider for the Melbourne Cup."
Brown is seeking a third Melbourne Cup victory following wins with Shocking in 2009 and last year's memorable triumph with the O'Brien-trained Rekindling, who denied Johannes Vermeer, trained by Joseph's father Aidan.
Brown said: "When I got the ride [on Rekindling] and I watched the horse, I was pretty impressed with what I’d seen. He was coming down as a European three-year-old but an Australian four-year-old.
"Joseph never gave me any instructions. Ben [Melham], who was on the second horse, went a bit early and I always knew I was going to get him on the line. It was an amazing experience to win it.
"For Joseph to have that win on his CV and have the backing of someone like Lloyd Williams is pretty huge. Lloyd is only after one thing, Cup wins. I think it’s unbelievable what Joseph has done, he is a pretty special guy."
But first on the agenda of Brown is his Shergar Cup debut at Ascot on Saturday, where he will be part of a trio of riders in the Rest of the World team alongside Japan's Yutaka Take and Brazil's Joao Moreira.
He said: "I’m really excited for it. The team structure of the competition is really good.
"The Shergar Cup is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, it’s always been a jockey challenge I wanted to compete in so I can’t wait."
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