In-form jockey Jarrad Noske has declared himself fit for the ride on multiple Listed race winner Money Maher in tomorrow’s Group 2 WATC Derby (2400m) at Ascot, after he overcame illness which saw him miss rides at Ascot and Pinjarra earlier this week.
Noske had to fight off a stomach bug over the past two days, and was in some doubt to take up a strong book of rides for Derby Day, which included his father Jeff’s sprinter Salorsci.
“I feel a lot better now,” he said.
“I rested up on Wednesday and Thursday…I’ve got through the worst of it and look forward to Saturday.”
Despite winning the last two lead up races to the WATC Derby in the J.C. Roberts Stakes and Melvista Stakes, Money Maher has gone under the radar in the build-up, with the Grant and Alana Williams-trained Action taking a lot of the headlines following his fifth placing in the Melvista.
Noske said while Action was a big danger, he still expected his colt would be “the one to beat” in the $400,000 event.
“He will need things to go his way,” he said.
“There seems to be enough speed in the race.
“If he can jump and put himself in a good spot again, I’ll be happy.”
Noske also indicated the colt had learned to settle in his races a lot better as his autumn campaign had progressed.
Meanwhile, Salorsci’s trial win at Belmont on April 6 hasn’t gone unnoticed by punters ahead of his return in the Real Ice Tea Handicap (1000m) tomorrow.
TABtouch has the four-year-old a $3.30 favourite for the short course event, ahead of the in-form Jingtang at $3.50.
Noske said there were no specific goals for the gelding this campaign, and added he would likely be kept to short course races, after he was beaten three lengths in the Group 3 Northerly Stakes last October.
“He’s doing everything well at home, so he should run a good race,” he said.
“He’s getting on now, so 1000m might be a bit short for him first-up.
“There’s no particular race picked out…hopefully he can win a few and get more money in the bank.”
Noske has just two other rides on the Ascot program tomorrow are Great Charade in the TABtouch Plate for the two-year-olds, and Hillbert in the Ascend Sales Trophy Maiden.