IN-form group 1 jockey Craig Williams will ride Winslow galloper Moudre in Saturday’s $250,000 Moonee Valley Cup (2500 metres).
It will be the seven-year-old gelding’s final lead-in run before the $6.2 million Melbourne Cup (3200 metres) at Flemington on November 6.
Trainer Ciaron Maher booked the Caulfield Cup-winning jockey after trackwork at Caulfield on Tuesday morning.
The champion jockey has had 10 rides on Moudre for three wins. One of those victories was in the $250,000 Queen’s Cup on the final day of the 2010 Flemington carnival.
He also rode the horse to second place in the 2010 Geelong Cup, when he was beaten by subsequent Melbourne Cup winner Americain.
Maher was delighted he had picked up the services of Williams in Saturday’s group 2 race.
“I had a chat with Craig at trackwork on Tuesday and asked who he was riding in the Moonee Valley Cup and he said he would love to ride Moudre in the race,” he said.
“It’s a great result getting Craig to ride the horse because he understands him so well.
“He’ll be able to give us a guide how the horse is going.”
Maher, a former jumps jockey, said Moudre had “pulled up really well” after his Caulfield Cup run.
“He usually backs up well two weeks in a row,” he said.
“He’s never raced at the Valley before but I’m confident he will handle the track.
“There’s usually a bit of give in the Valley track, which will suit him.”
Maher said the 2500 metres would suit Moudre in the lead-up to the Melbourne Cup.
“I was thinking of taking him to the Bendigo Cup next Wednesday, but it was getting too close to the Melbourne Cup,” he said.
“Running him at the Valley will put the necessary miles into his legs and he will have enough time to recover before the Melbourne Cup.”
Moudre has been installed as an $8 chance to win the Moonee Valley Cup with the TAB.