Top Melbourne jockey Damian Lane has been confirmed as the rider for Catalyst in his upcoming Australian campaign.
The Oaks Stud general manager Rick Williams advised that Lane would replace regular rider Troy Harris when Catalyst takes his place in the Gr.3 CS Hayes (1400m) at Flemington on February 15.
“Damian Lane’s manager emailed and said Damian wouldn’t take another ride until he knew what the riding engagements were going to be,” Williams said.
“We had a discussion last night and decided to go with the local jockey.
“It’s tough on Troy but he took it extremely well and he will always be riding Catalyst when he is racing in New Zealand, which could include the Triple Crown at Hastings next spring, depending on what our targets are.
“I feel for Troy but he has some great rides back here and he will keep riding for us.
“It’s just the local knowledge of the jockeys and the tracks that swayed us to Damian and it wasn’t Troy’s rides in any shape or form.”
Lane was in stellar form during the Melbourne spring carnival where he took out the Gr.1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) aboard Mer De Glace before piloting the now retired Lys Gracieux to victory in the Gr.1 Cox Plate (2050m). Lane is no stranger to riding New Zealand-bred horses to major race success having taken out the Gr.1 Australian Cup (2000m) on Humidor and the Gr.1 Australian Derby (2400m) aboard Jon Snow.
Damien Lane riding Lys Gracieux (JPN) to win the 2019 Group 1 WS Cox Plate at The Valley, picture Quentinjlang.com