Jockey Christopher Dell has been confirmed as the rider of Gr.2 Avondale Cup (2400m) runner-up Blue Breeze when he contests the Gr.1 Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup (3200m) on March 9.
The Allan Morley-trained five-year-old was sent out a $57-chance but was beaten just a half-head by high-class staying mare Glory Days last Saturday.
“He had a stout finish on Saturday and stepping up to the 3200m, he will just keep going and going and going,” Dell said.
“He does appreciate a little bit of cut in the track, but he has performed well on all track surfaces.”
Under the set weight and penalties conditions of the Auckland Cup, Blue Breeze will carry 55kgs, a 3kg rise from the 52kgs he carried under handicap conditions last week.
“The owners said to me ‘You won’t have to waste as hard to ride him the Auckland Cup’,” Dell said.
“Glory Days is obviously coming in better off at the weights, but anything can happen over 3200m.”
Dell and Byerley Park trainer Morley have had a long association which started in another equine discipline.
“He used to judge me in the show ring,” Dell said. We have known each other for years.”