Melbourne Cup hopeful Moudre is set to make a return to racing on Saturday, more than a year after suffering a tendon injury.
The Ciaron Maher-trained galloper will be ridden by Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Glen Boss in his comeback to the track in the $300,000 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600 metres) at Flemington.
Boss replaces champion jockey Craig Williams, who has decided to ride last year’s Caulfield Cup winner Southern Speed in the group 2 race.
Moudre suffered a tendon injury to his off-front leg as he was preparing for last year’s Melbourne Cup.
Maher said the seven-year-old had made a good recovery and would use Saturday’s race as a stepping stone to this year’s $6.2 million Melbourne Cup (3200 metres).
Maher, who has stables at Winslow and Caulfield, revealed Boss had been riding Moudre in track work at Caulfield and rode the talented galloper in a trial over 900 metres at Cranbourne on August 27.
Williams, who rode Moudre to his 2010 group 3 Queens Cup win at Flemington and his second placing behind Americain in the 2010 $240,000 Geelong Cup (2406 metres), partnered the gelding in a trial on August 14.
“Craig decided to ride Southern Speed. That’s all right. Going forward he’s put his hand up to ride Dunaden in this year’s Melbourne Cup, but we’re hopeful of getting to the Caulfield and Melbourne cups.
“Bossy is an ideal replacement. He’s one of the best jockeys in Australia. Bossy was impressed with Moudre in his last trial.
“I’ve been really pleased how Moudre has performed so far in this prepartion. We’ve had him in work since early June.
“His tendon is right. It’s causing him no concern.”
He said Moudre would be suited to the roomy Flemington track.
“He’s run his best races on big tracks,” Maher said. “I don’t think he’s run a bad race at Flemington. We’re confident he will be competitive in the Makybe Diva on Saturday.
“His win in the 2010 Queens Cup has meant he’s qualified to run in this year’s Melbourne Cup.
“It’s good, because we don’t have to rush him to get him ready for the Melbourne Cup.”
Moudre has won seven of his 20 starts.
He has earned more than $530,000 in stakes for his connections.