Silvestre de Sousa has been booked to ride Withhold in the Lexus Melbourne Cup as he long he makes the field for the ‘race that stops a nation’ on November 6.
The champion jockey comes in for the mount as Robert Winston, who steered the Roger Charlton-trained five-year-old to victory in the Northumberland Plate, would be unable to do the weight.
Withhold has been given 8st 5lb in the two-mile showpiece, which is within De Sousa’s range, and he was successful on the gelding in the Cesarewitch last autumn.
“It’s very exciting. Hopefully as long as everything goes OK and he gets in the race. Reports are good, so hopefully,” said his agent, Shelley Dwyer.
“I’m not sure what the plans are. The horses got held up flying over.
“Obviously because he rode him in the Cesarewitch and he was going to have a lower weight that Robert Winston couldn’t do, Silvestre was offered the ride.”