Colless hoping to be rolling on the River
By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
AFTER Queensland stayer Lachlan River's strong lead-up run in Saturday's Mackinnon Stakes, there is now a distinct possibility that Coffs Harbour's own Glen Colless could be bringing the Melbourne Cup back to town.
Colless has the ride on this year's Queensland Derby winner and many experts are saying that he and his 25-1 shot are a realistic chance of winning the famous three handled trophy.
Given the chance to dream a little of success in this afternoon's big race, the now Brisbane-based jockey admits that he would dearly love to bring the Melbourne Cup trophy back to his home town on his next return.
"You never know about bringing the trophy back, I'd have to ask the owners," he said yesterday as he was wasting in preparation for today.
"If we win I'll have my own little one with me and I'm sure to bring it back."
This is Colless' first ride in the Melbourne Cup but he's trying hard to keep his emotions in check.
"It's pretty exciting but I'm trying to treat it as another ride," he explained.
"All the wasting to get down to 52.5kg takes a bit of the exuberance away.
"When you're riding light it takes a bit out of you."
Lachlan River carried 57kg in the weight for age Mackinnon Stakes three days ago but he has been allowed a five and a half kilo drop by the handicappers for today's race.
Colless won't be able to get down to that and will take full advantage of the extra kilo that he's allowed.
The four-year-old gelding is beautifully drawn for the race that stops the nation in barrier three and the leading hoop hopes to take full advantage of it.
"It's a good gate so we should be able to get some cover, I think he'll settle somewhere in the first five or six," he said.
"There's no worries whatsoever about him running out the two miles, he's a real stayer and he grinded away on Saturday."
It was Lachlan River's third on Saturday behind Lad of the Manor that has connections excited about the chances of their horse today.
A half brother to Makybe Diva, Lachlan River had an eye-catching Cups trial coming from seventh at the top of the straight but Colless thinks the run was more meritorious than people are giving the horse credit for.
"He went good, the main aim was to get him to settle and he did that," he explained.
"He still pulled a little up the straight, he's a tricky horse.
"He hasn't had that many runs and because he pulls, it takes a bit of the sprint out of him."
Colless knows that the wonder mare Makybe Diva will be hard to beat if she runs but he also knows he's a better chance of winning than the horses that didn't qualify for the final field.
"We're a chance because we're there and as they say 'You've got to be in it to win it'."