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Gaudray gets shot at Derby prize

3 November 2023 Written by Racing & Sports

Celine Gaudray is the sole apprentice with a ride in the Victoria Derby at Flemington.

With his go-to senior jockey sidelined through suspension, Pat Carey has called on his apprentice Celine Gaudray to ride Bulawayo in the Group 1 Victoria Derby at Flemington

Gaudray has only had one ride in a Group 1 race previously, finishing out of the money in Brisbane earlier in the year, but Carey does not expect Gaudray, who is the only apprentice with a ride in the 2500m Classic on Saturday, to be overawed by the occasion. 

Given a call up to ride in New Zealand last weekend, Gaudray rode a double at Pukekohe but was lucky to escape injury when a wayward Luberon almost went through the outside fence in the Group 2 Soliloquy Stakes. 

"I would have thought if anyone thought she would be overawed by the occasion, they only had to look at New Zealand last week to see her nearly go through the outside fence," Carey said. 

"She handles these situations, she's been in good form, and she rides exceptionally well over ground. 

"We're very grateful that Trevor Delroy has given Celine the opportunity to ride the horse. 

"Rhys Mcleod, unfortunately, is suspended and he would have ridden the horse. 

"We've tended to work within our own realm with jockeys and they know our horses really well and I don't think anyone could argue that Celine is not riding very well." 

Carey has trained four Group 1 winners in his career, three of them in staying three-year-old features, starting with Arapaho Miss in the VRC Oaks in 2007, the 2012 Australian Derby with Ethiopia and with Gondokoro in the 2013 Queensland Oaks

Now in partnership with Harris Walker, Carey said Bulawayo will appreciate getting on the roomier Flemington circuit after finishing fourth behind Apulia in the Group 2 Vase at Moonee Valley last Saturday. 

That was Bulawayo's second run at Moonee Valley after the son of Fiorente finished last behind Caulfield Guineas winner Griff in the Group 2 Stutt Stakes (1600m) on September 29. 

In between those two Moonee Valley performances, Bulawayo finished fifth to Derby favourite Riff Rocket at Flemington on October 7. 

"He's had his troubles with The Valley," Carey said. 

"He hasn't been entirely comfortable there and taking that into account, I thought he didn't run too badly there the other day. 

"He'll improve back at Flemington. 

"He's up and about. He's fit. He's drawn a good gate, he's got a genuine staying pedigree and I think he'll be much better suited on the big, flat track at Flemington."