Jockey Aaron Mitchell will take his first ride in Western Australia since June 9, when he teams up with Valour Road in Saturday’s TABtouch 3YO Classic (1000m) at Bunbury.
Valour Road is Mitchell’s only ride on the Bunbury standalone program, where the gelding has drawn barrier five and will carry the topweight of 60kg.
Mitchell said he it had been a long term plan to make the trip west to ride last season’s Group 2 Karrakatta Plate winner this campaign.
“I thought it’d be good to come back and stick with him,” he told TABradio.
“Three months ago I made the decision to come back and ride him.
“I spoke to Simon and one of the owners and they were happy to do that.”
A field of seven has been assembled for Saturday’s $100,000 event, including Valour Road’s stablemate Lady Cosmology and blacktype winners Chix Pic and Agent Pippa.
WA Sires Produce Stakes winner Lordhelpmerun was a notable withdrawal from the race, following his first-up second at Belmont on September 29.
Valour Road was narrowly beaten by Galaxy Star in his only trial prior to Saturday’s feature, a performance which has given Mitchell plenty of confidence.
“I thought it was good,” he said.
“Benny (Paterson) didn’t have to knock him around…he looked comfortable doing it.”
Valour Road’s only run beyond 1200m was in the Group 3 Sires where he finished fourth.
Mitchell said no definitive plan was in place for Valour Road after Saturday, with the WA Guineas and Winterbottom Stakes both possibilities.
Following the Bunbury meeting, Mitchell will return to Victoria to ride track work early next week.