As Michael Walker eagerly awaits a second chance at the Melbourne Cup on Prince Of Arran, he will first take care of business on Derby day at Flemington.
While Walker does not have a ride in Saturday’s Victoria Derby, he is booked on runners from Chris Waller in the three other Group One races.
In all Walker has seven rides on Saturday ahead of Wednesday’s final declarations.
The influx of jockeys from interstate, and overseas, has reduced the rides available for local jockeys.
“They call it snake season at this time of year,” Walker said.
“I’m just really fortunate that I’m riding at the moment for a great trainer in Chris Waller.
“He’s a Hall of Fame trainer that is out-training everyone and when the horses come down from Sydney they look brilliant.
“With Chris, he’s a trainer that never leaves any stone unturned. He crosses all the t’s dots all the i’s before they go to the races.
“He knows what he’s doing.”
Walker certainly hopes Waller does know what he is doing as he rides Accession in the Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m).
Accession comes to Melbourne off the back of two fifth-placed finishes to start his campaign in Sydney.
Waller sent Accession to Melbourne early and gave the three-year-old a look down the Flemington straight in a jump-out last Friday.
“I trialled him down the straight the other day and he went really, really well,” Walker said.
“I didn’t ask him to do anything but I like what he did.”
Walker was opposed to Accession in a track gallop at Flemington on Tuesday in which he partnered Star Of The Seas, his ride in the Kennedy Cantala (1600m).
Star Of The Seas finished a last-start third in The Epsom at Randwick on October 5.
“I liked the way he worked,” Walker said.
“He has 53.5kg in the Cantala and if he draws a gate he’s a sneaky chance in the race.”
Walker’s final Group One ride on Saturday is Noire in the Empire Rose Stakes.
“I didn’t ride her this morning, I was on Invincibella, but they’re both going well and are going to run good races,” he said.
Walker rides English contender Prince Of Arran in next Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup after riding him to third last year and to his recent Geelong Cup win.