Scott Seamer receives a peck from Sheila Laxon, trainer of Kiwi horse Ethereal, aboard which the Ballina-based jockey had just won the 2001 Melbourne Cup.
Scott Seamer receives a peck from Sheila Laxon, trainer of Kiwi horse Ethereal, aboard which the Ballina-based jockey had just won the 2001 Melbourne Cup. AFP

Cup memories flash by

MELBOURNE CUP-winning jockey Scott Seamer will be riding today, but instead of being at Flemington, he’ll be 1671km north at Eagle Farm in Brisbane.

Seamer will long be remembered for his 2001 cup win onboard Ethereal yet he didn’t get the call-up for this year’s event.

The Ballina-based hoop was sounded out about riding the Mark Kavanagh-trained Shocking in today’s $5.5 million race, but Corey Brown got the nod instead.

While he was in Melbourne for the Moonee Valley Cup/Cox Plate race day on October 24 and plans to be back in the Victorian capital this weekend, Seamer’s a professional hoop and must go wherever he’s booked for a ride.

There’s precious little room for sentimentality in racing so Seamer has accepted two rides at Eagle Farm today instead.

Asked if fond memories came flooding back on cup day, ever the realist, Seamer said:

“Not really. It’s Melbourne’s big month, that’s all. It doesn’t worry me (missing out on a ride); it’s something that’s good as long as you’ve got a decent ride.”

Seamer rode Lodge the Needs in the Moonee Valley Cup and did have some preliminary discussions about riding Shocking in today’s cup.

“There was a chance I could ride Shocking but Corey Brown was always first in line and I just had to wait and see,” he said.

“They had me in mind because I could ride light.”

Seamer’s decision to base himself on a 15-acre property near Ballina hadn’t affected the number of rides he’s been offered.

“It’s fine, I’ve always been based there and it hasn’t had much effect. I’ve ridden plenty of group one horses being based there,” he said.

So while Melbourne will be in the grip of cup fever Seamer will be saddling up or weighing in or receiving instructions or urging his mount home at Eagle Farm.

As for memories of his emotional win onboard Ethereal eight years ago, Seamer offered this:

“It was just a satisfying part of my career.”

A career that is far from over.



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