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Kingscote plays waiting game in Australia.

RICHARD Kingscote has been forced to sit tight as he waits to see if he will be able to get some firsthand experience at Flemington before riding Brown Panther in next Tuesday's Emirates Melbourne Cup.

Tom Dascombe's stable jockey was thwarted in an attempt to pick up rides around the course last month, but connections retain their faith in a man who has partnered the five-year-old in all but four of his 17 career outings.

Kingscote, who is not the most fashionable of jockeys, was replaced by Kieren Fallon when Brown Panther finished second in the 2011 St Leger, but has been ever-present since the middle of 2012 and helped him to a career-best victory in the Goodwood Cup on August 1. He was in the saddle to put the entire through his paces at Werribee on Wednesday morning.

"I'm hoping that I'll get a ride early in the card (next Tuesday)," said King-scote. "It's a nice experience to come out here and it has been a nice confi-dence-booster.

"I've spoken to a couple of the jockeys at home about the race and been through a few replays. The local lads know the score and I'll hopefully talk to a few people."

The typical style of a Melbourne Cup, where the runners break quickly from the stalls before slowing up ahead of a frantic finish, is something Kingscote is aware of.

"My biggest problem after lighting him up will be getting him to settle, but he seems pretty grown up," he said.

"He's got the speed to do it, let's just hope he gets a good draw."

Brown Panther's jointowner and breeder, former footballer Michael Owen, has not yet arrived in Australia but Dascombe has been pleased with what he has seen.

"He looks well and he seems relaxed," said the Cheshire-based trainer.

"I've never been here before, but he did a little bit this morning and Richard was happy.

"He looks great and this has been the plan all along.

"It was unfortunate as the only race at Flemington we could get Richard a ride in a few weeks ago was in a sprint. But we're working on getting him something ahead of the race.

"I'll have full confidence legging Richard up, and he'll do the best job he can."

Saeed bin Suroor has arrived early to supervise the preparations of Royal Empire, and the trainer expects to learn more about the Geoffrey Freer winner by Thursday morning.

"Kerrin McEvoy is coming tomorrow and he'll work over seven furlongs," said Bin Suroor.

"He did his main work in England before coming here, and he was second at Ascot before he went into quarantine.

"Tomorrow will be the final blowout, but he looks happy and fresh. He has form over a mile and a half, and I think he'll stay the trip.

"He's ready to go." Craig Williams was back aboard Mount Athos on Wednesday morning as he looks forward to what he says has been a longarranged commitment to ride Luca Cumani's gelding.

The Newmarket trainer has selected one of the most experienced local pilots in an attempt to finally lift a prize which has been gnawing at him for years, with Mount Athos himself having a dif-ficult passage at Flemington 12 months ago as he came from well off the pace to finish fifth for Ryan Moore.

Williams has never landed the race himself, but missed out in painful circumstances in 2011 as he lost the ride on eventual winner Dunaden due to a late suspension.

Mount Athos completed a fairly serious workout at the Werribee quarantine and training complex and is currently second favourite behind the Gai Waterhouse-trained Fiorente.


Brown Panther ridden by Richard Kingscote (left) battles with Census and Richard Hughes in the CGA Geoffery Freer Stakes at Newbury
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Oct 31, 2013
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