Pat Cosgrave’s hopes of a second successive Caulfield Cup victory appear dashed but the international jockey still hopes to be a player at Caulfield.
Cosgrave won last year’s Cup on Best Solution for Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor, a week after riding Benbatl to victory for the trainer in the Group One Caulfield Stakes.
The latest tour for Cosgrave has not begun as well, with the jockey ninth aboard Dream Castle in Saturday’s Caulfield Stakes while his hoped-for Caulfield Cup ride for bin Suroor, Red Galileo, is down the entry order and likely to be balloted from the race.
Cosgrave will put that disappointment behind him when he partners Royal Meeting for Godolphin in the Group Three Moonga Stakes (1400m) on Saturday.
Royal Meeting scored a debut win at Yarmouth in September last year before going straight to Group One level for success in two-year-old company in France at his only other start.
He was sidelined with a wind issue which needed surgery and has not raced for 12 months.
“He’s been working pretty well. They’re really happy with him and I think he’ll be fit enough,” Cosgrave said.
“It’s his first start for a while and seven furlongs would be his minimum trip, maybe on the sharp side.
“It will be interesting to see and I’m looking forward to riding him as potentially he could have been a superstar as a two-year-old into his three-year-old year.”
Royal Meeting is one of 19 nominations for Saturday’s race with the Hawkes Racing-trained Doncaster Mile winner Brutal among entries.
Red Galileo is No. 32 in the ballot order for Saturday’s Caulfield Cup.
Cosgrave said if Red Galileo does not gain a start in Saturday’s race, the Geelong Cup (2400m) on October 23 was likely to be his next outing as he presses towards a Melbourne Cup start on November 5.
“He seems to have improved this summer, running second to Mustajeer in the Ebor,” Cosgrave said.
“On his best form he’d be a player in the Caulfield Cup, but he’s probably not going to get in.”
Cosgrave remains in Melbourne until the Geelong Cup before travelling to Dubai. He will return for rides at Flemington later in the carnival.