Zac Purton has been booked to ride the Willie Mullins-trained Absurde in next month’s Lexus Melbourne Cup.
Purton, who is a six-times champion jockey in Hong Kong, will team up with the Ebor winner in the Flemington feature on November 7 after Frankie Dettori rode the five-year-old to victory at York.
Absurde is set to carry 8st 5lb in the big race which is too low for Dettori to maintain the partnership, so Purton is delighted to renew an old association with Mullins, having ridden Max Dynamite to finish third for the handler in the 2017 Melbourne Cup.
“I think he’s just a wizard as a trainer, he’s a very, very intelligent guy when it comes to training horses,” Purton told www.racing.com.
“You can even see with the Melbourne Cup, the horses he picks to take down for the race, how he strategically places them in the lead-up races to try and beat the handicapper.
“He just knows exactly what he’s doing and I’d always said to my manager that he’s a trainer that I think one day is going to win the Melbourne Cup and hopefully we can be a part of it.”
Purton has ridden Group One victors in his native Australia as well as Japan, Britain and Singapore but admits the Melbourne Cup is a tough race in which to have a winning opportunity.
He added: “Unfortunately, it’s been hard to get the right rides in it because the Europeans generally take their own jockeys, the Japanese like to take their own jockeys and the rides in Australia are sewn up by the jockeys that have the connections with the owners and trainers down there.
“From the position I’m in, it’s just really hard to get that right horse and I’ve got an opportunity again, so hopefully I can make the most of it. I’ve had an amazing career, I’ve ridden a lot of great horses, won a lot of big races but this is the one that is left that I’d love to win now.”