Harry Coffey is the new rider for Melbourne Cup winner Prince of Penzance.
He will be in the saddle when the Darren Weir-trained Prince of Penzance resumes in the group 1 Memsie Stakes, 1400m, at Caulfield on Saturday.
The Swan Hill 20-year-old, who is a primary rider for Weir’s Ballarat/Warrnambool training empire, replaces the recuperating Michelle Payne on the seven-year-old.
The connections of Prince of Penzance confirmed earlier this month that Payne, who has not ridden in a race since being seriously injured in a race fall at Mildura in May, would not ride the stayer on in the Memsie.
Payne expressed her disappointment at the decision through social media.
Prince of Penzance’s managing part-owner John Richards, of Ballarat, did not rule out Payne regaining the mount later in the spring, but said she was not fit enough to be aboard in the first-up assignment.
Prince of Penzance will carry equal top weight of 59kg in the weight-for-age $500,000 Memsie – his first start since running second to stablemate Tonopah in the group 3 RA Lee Stakes, 1600m, in Adelaide in May.
Coffey becomes only the third jockey to ride Prince Penzance. Payne has ridden him to seven wins in 24 starts, while Hugh Bowman has been on him once.
Coffey is shaping up for a bumper spring. He has already been confirmed as the ongoing rider for Signoff, another of Weir’s big Melbourne Cup hopes.
Coffey rode Signoff in the seven-year-old’s first-up outing in Adelaide on Saturday.
Weir has four starters in the Memsie Stakes, also including WS Cox Plate hopes Black Heart Bart, Mahuta and Palentino.
ROBERT Smerdon has sights on pre-spring success.
He has group 1 winner Under The Louvre in the group 3 $150,000 The Resimax Stakes, 1100m, at Caulfield on Saturday.
Under The Louvre has not raced since his breakthrough group 1 win in $1.5m Stradbroke Handicap, 1400m, in Brisbane in June.
MONEY Chaser ($18) had his first city win at Sandown on Wednesday.
From the Ballarat stable of Barry and Glen James, the six-year-old saluted in a benchmark70, 1000m.
Money Chaser now has six career wins for almost $90,000 in stakes.
BALLARAT trainer Archie Alexander had his second win of the new season with Warrior of Justice ($5) in a maiden, 1109m, at Echuca on Monday,
The Rothesay three-year-old was on debut.
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