If it comes to fruition, Joe Azzopardi could be in for the ride of his life.
Azzopardi will call Melbourne home for the next few months as he prepares to live out a dream with improving Perth stayer Buster Bash.
The David Harrison-trained six-year-old shot to prominence last season and is being aimed at the Caulfield and Melbourne Cup.
A tilt at Australia’s two iconic races might seem fanciful, but became a reality for Harrison after Buster Bash scored a breathtaking Perth Cup victory (2400m) in January.
In a masterful display, Buster Bash made mincemeat of his competition when scoring by 4 ½ lengths from his nearest rival, Stafford’s Lad, with Shaun McGruddy the exalted jockey.
Suspension robbed Azzopardi of the coveted win after partnering Buster Bash to victory a month earlier in the Listed Towton Cup (2200m).
Azzopardi says he can’t wait to get to Melbourne again after he rode Kia Ora Koutou to third place in the 2015 Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington.
“It’s a great opportunity,” Azzopardi said.
“I was quite bullish once I found out he was going and I wanted to ride him.
“I told Dave (Harrison) I would come over to Melbourne and help him and ride his work.
“I will stick over there for most of the time, that’s the plan at this stage anyhow.
“Hopefully I can pick up other rides as I go.”
Azzopardi made a blistering start to the new season with a riding treble on Wednesday.
He booted home Cool Memory, Miss Ava and Red Dwarf at Belmont.
Azzopardi hopes that form can carryover to Saturday at the same venue when Buster Bash launches his campaign in the Jockey Celebration Day Stakes (1400m).
Buster Bash, off two winning trials, lumps the 62kg topweight and jumps from barrier eight.
Azzopardi says class will help Buster Bash overcome his big weight.
“I expect a forward showing even with the big weight,” Azzopardi said.
“I still think he will be hard to beat and he’s flying.
“1400m is not his best trip but he is better than them.”