Dwayne Dunn will ride Cambridge mare Silent Achiever in the A$6.2 million Melbourne Cup, trainer Roger James confirmed yesterday.
James said after two days of frustrating negotiations with jockeys' agents, he was pleased to have secured Dunn's services.
''I'm really quite happy to get him. He's got a much-seasoned head and the occasion won't get on top of him,'' James said yesterday.
''He's really enthusiastic about riding her too and he's in good form, having already winner a Gr I winner at the carnival.''
Dunn, whose carnival Gr I winner was Happy Trails in the Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on October 5, has yet to win a Melbourne Cup. He rode Drunken Sailor into fourth place 2011 and has previously ridden a New Zealand runner in the race, finishing 16th on the Richard Yuill-trained Gallions Reach in 2009.
Silent Achiever will have her next run in tomorrow week's Gr I A$1 million Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington.
Meanwhile, James has changed tack with his last-start Gr III winner Zonza, opting to bypass Saturday's Gr III Eliza Park International Stakes at Moonee Valley in favour of a tilt at the Gr I A$500,000 Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington on November 2.
James said he had discussed the move with owners Brendan and Jo Lindsay, noting the risk involved should Zonza fail to make the field, thus missing a crucial leadup to the Gr III A$250,000 Matriarch Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on November 9.
''It's a calculated decision. I done as much homework as possible and I think the Myer field could drop away,'' James said.
''Three of the last four years, it hasn't been a full field and the other year we would have got in off the ballot. The risk is if we don't get in, we have to go into the Matriarch Stakes without a leadup run and that would be far from ideal.''
James has a busy weekend at home, with four runners at Ellerslie on Saturday and seven at Te Rapa on Monday.
At Ellerslie, Listed winner Hera clashes with Future King and Royal Tiger in the $15,000 Pandoro Panatteria 1200, while Duchessofcambridge contests the $12,500 Davis Funeral Services 1400.
James will utilise the services of Sydney-based Waikato jockey James McDonald for exciting filly Miss Foxwood in Monday's Gr III $70,000 James & Annie Sarten Memorial Stakes (1400m) at Te Rapa.
Miss Foxwood was an impressive 4 1/2-length last-start maiden winner at Taupo for Mark Du Plessis, who was committed to riding Bounding in the Sarten Memorial which prompted James to offer McDonald the ride.
McDonald will also ride the Fastnet Rock filly in the Gr I $300,000 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton on November 16.
James' other runners at Te Rapa on Monday are Clara Jane, Honeymoon, Lady Cumquat, Hot In Pink, Kashmir and Lady Sayyida.
- Waikato Times