Star international jockey Jamie Spencer is looking into launching an ambitious bid to ride in the Melbourne Cup and other bumper Victorian spring carnival races.
News Corp can reveal Spencer and Australian Bloodstock have had talks about the prospects of getting the London-based riding star to Victoria for part of the spring.
Spencer has a great rapport with Australian Bloodstock’s Jamie Lovett and Luke Murrell and has been the regular rider of emerging UK stayer Rodrigo Diaz, who Australian Bloodstock have part-purchased as a Melbourne Cup hope.
Spencer has indicated he is keen to get here for part of the Victorian spring, but that would hinge on getting Australian Government approval given the Covid-19 situation.
Spencer’s chances may seem extremely unlikely but, ironically, it may in fact be easier to get an international jockey to Victoria for the spring than a top Sydney jockey.
Sydney’s Covid-19 plight would seem to make it virtually impossible for Sydney jockeys to ride in Victoria during the spring, with three-time Melbourne Cup winner Glen Boss stuck in Sydney and still waiting for a Government exemption.
Spencer, who won the 2013 Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington on the Andrew Balding-trained Side Glance, certainly harbours ambitions of pinching Group 1 spoils in the upcoming spring carnival.
There is some precedent with elite English jockey Tom Marquand allowed to enter Australia to ride in the Sydney autumn where he won the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes on Addeybb for the second consecutive year.
And England’s Ashes cricketers appear almost certain of securing approval to travel around Australia in a touring bubble this upcoming summer.
Spencer is double vaccinated and Covid-19 restrictions in England have eased to the point where he is relatively free to travel around Europe.
Contacted about the matter, Australian Bloodstock’s Jamie Lovett confirmed there had been talks over the issue.
“Jamie and I had a discussion about it last week and I said, ‘I want you to come out’,” Lovett said.
“We are lining up our cards for the spring and I said to Jamie we are going to have a pretty good team of horses in Melbourne and the jockeys we use in Sydney probably aren’t going to be able to get to Victoria.
“There are plenty of top riders in Melbourne but there are also 24 horses in the Melbourne Cup.
“Jamie has got a great association with Rodrigo Diaz and that’s the motivating factor.
“He loves Rodrigo Diaz, albeit the horse would have to get a kilo or two (extra) to make his weight for the Melbourne Cup.
“We also have some other nice horses during the (spring) carnival I would have thought.
“But maybe with this Covid situation, it may not be tenable he can even come into the country. We will have to see.”
Spencer has strong links with Australian Bloodstock, the syndication team who won the 2014 Melbourne Cup with Protectionist.
Spencer won a Group 1 in Germany on Danceteria for Australian Bloodstock, which also brought the star jockey to Australia for the inaugural The Everest in 2017 when Brave Smash finished third behind Redzel.
“I love him on horses, particularly in staying races as he has got an amazing clock in his head,” Lovett said.
“You see him win races by a head and he will be last at the half-mile. He just gets it right.”
Rodrigo Diaz is a $26 Melbourne Cup hope with TAB.
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