Dream ride for Walker
OMAR Walker will be aboard a Wayne DaCosta-trained horse for the first time in almost three years, when he partners SEEKING MY DREAM in next Saturday's Lotto Classic Governor's Cup.
DaCosta on Thursday confirmed his former stable jockey to partner the Derrick Smith-owned colt after Shane Ellis gave up the ride on the 2000 Guineas runner-up in favour of Anthony Nunes' SIEMPRE BUENO.
"Shane Ellis was supposed to ride him but decided on SIEMPRE BUENO. Omar has just started to work him," DaCosta said.
Partnered by Shamaree Muir, SEEKING MY DREAM warmed up for the $3m Lotto Classic Governor's Cup with a length and a half victory over SIEMPRE BUENO, going 1820 metres, on April 26.
Ellis was aboard SIEMPRE BUENO that afternoon but had partnered SEEKING MY DREAM in his two previous races, including a second-place finish to stablemate ALI BABA in the April 6, 2000 Guineas.
Having twice finished ahead of SIEMPRE BUENO, who was fourth in the 2000 Guineas, DaCosta said it's left to be seen how well Walker and the colt bonds for the Lotto Classic Governor's Cup.
"The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Let's see how he adapts," said the champion trainer, refusing to be drawn into the much-publicised bust-up between himself and Walker in 2011.
Walker and DaCosta were seemingly inseparable as the rider won four consecutive jockeys' titles, 2007-2010, before a disagreement over loyalty caused them to part ways.
Walker last rode for DaCosta in 2012, partnering ALL CORRECT in the Jamaica St Leger on the request of owner Mitta Rousseau.
The jockey's new agent, Leroan 'Bredda' Lee, said SEEKING MY DREAM was first offered to his other client, champion rider Dane Nelson, who was already booked aboard Nunes' SOUTHERN CRUIUSE.
"I was contacted by the owner's agent, asking Dane to ride SEEKING MY DREAM. However, Dane is down to ride SOUTHERN CRUISE. I afterwards got a text asking about Walker. I told them he was on Richard Azan's TARANIS, but I would try to work out an arrangement."
Admitting Azan was a bit peeved, Lee said he is working on mending that fence.
"Walker been working SEEKING MY DREAM every day for the last week. TARANIS is now in a non-winners of two, the same day as the Lotto Classic, so hopefully, everybody will be happy," he said.