BEN Melham will take the prized mount on Puissance De Lune in Saturday's $3 million Cox Plate if regular jockey Glen Boss cannot have his suspension overturned later today.
Melham rode the horse for the first time early this morning at Warrnambool Racecourse.
He told The Standard that Puissance De Lune was running in good order.
"He was really sharp this morning," Melham said.
"I was rapt with the way he worked."
Trainer Darren Weir said the morning training session was "the best piece of work he's done for the preparation".
"We're really looking forward to Saturday and hope he presents in a good order."
Boss will appeal the severity of his 12 meeting suspension, after being found guilty of careless riding in Saturday's Caulfield Cup later today at Racing Victoria's Flemington headquarters.
MEANWHILE, Puissance de Lune this morning drew barrier eight for the Cox Plate:
1-GREEN MOON Brett Prebble 12 59kg
2-HAPPY TRAILS Dwayne Dunn 2 59kg
3-FIORENTE Blake Shinn 15 59kg
4-FORETELLER Craig Newitt 9 59kg
5-SIDE GLANCE Craig Williams 1 59kg
6-SEVILLE Hugh Bowman 10 59kg
7-REKINDLED INTEREST 6 59kg
8-PUISSANCE DE LUNE 8 59kg
9-MASKED MARVEL Nicholas Hall 5 59kg
10-MULL OF KILLOUGH Steven Arnold 4 59kg
11-IT’S A DUNDEEL James McDonald 13 57.5kg
12-SUPER COOL Corey Brown 14 57.5kg
13-ATLANTIC JEWEL Michael Rodd 7 57kg
14-LONG JOHN Kerrin McEvoy 11 49.5kg
15-SHAMUS AWARD Chad Schofield (a) 3 49.5kg