Andrew Mallyon aboard Halvorsen (Image: Racing Photos)
Andrew Mallyon gets the chance to build some momentum in his push to figure more prominently at Saturday meetings in Melbourne when he takes two well-fancied rides at Flemington this weekend.
The 30-year-old said on Friday that rides on Kings Brook in Race 2 and Halvorsen in Race 4 would give him the opportunity to show his wares on racing's biggest stage of the week.
"It would be nice to get that consistency in town and on a Saturday so obviously going there with two nice rides for stables that have given me a lot of support it would be nice to repay that," he said.
The Robbie Griffiths-trained Halvorsen supplied Mallyon with his most recent Melbourne Saturday winner when he scored at Caulfield in late April and the rider says he will jump aboard the three-year-old with some confidence as he contests the 1000-metre Ken Cox Handicap.
"He's quite a quirky horse and he was overdoing it a lot early," Mallyon said. "Every time I seem to get on him, he seems to have improved in that aspect.
"He settles lovely and I don't think he's a finished product yet, which is exciting. It'll be interesting to see once the penny drops exactly what's he's got at the end."
Halvorsen is marked a $6 chance to make it five wins from his past eight starts but must first handle the straight 1000-metre run at Flemington.
"He hasn't seen the straight before and obviously you don't know until they have been on it," he said. "He's a horse that finds cover in his races, so it's not like he's going to be out in the open and getting lost.
"I'll be looking to take a trail in the race. Over 1000 metres, it will be a good speed and he'll just be able to settle nicely.
"I guess it will come down to how the track is playing. He's drawn low so it would be nice if it was fairly even across and I didn't have to worry about what lane I have to choose.
"Most of the speed is drawn low as well so it shouldn't be too hard to find a tail to get on the back of and hopefully get on the back of the right horse that will take me into the race.
"He's shown he handles tracks with sting out of it. Flemington drains quite well so if we do get a bit of rain he'll probably get a perfect surface for him. He likes to get his toe in."
Mallyon is hopeful he will still be on a high by the time he leaps aboard Halvorsen as he expects to be fighting out the finish of the Trevor Clarke Handicap a little over an hour earlier when he rides the David Brideoake-trained filly Kings Brook.
"She seems to have really switched on with the blinkers," Mallyon noted. "She ran super the other day and she got a great ride by Jye (McNeil) and she put them away really convincingly and ran good time.
"We've drawn a nice gate (two) to get a nice run and she's in super form.
"I didn't think she's a finished product either. She was a filly that was casual and with the blinkers on, we've seen another side to her."
Mallyon has 58 Victorian winners this season so far to go with his season totals of 67 and 71 in his previous two seasons.