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Durrant s dual cup assault
Durrant's dual cup assault

Peter Hall and Peter Knuckey are booked to ride Keepers Court and Marden in the $500,000 Golden River Developments Perth Cup (2400m) for leading trainer Adam Durrant.

Christmas came early for Hall when the minimum weight for the New Year's Day feature was raised from 53kg to 54kg.

The 2006 Perth Cup-winning jockey can't ride at 53kg.

Hall knocked back the ride on Global Flirt to stay loyal to Durrant and was rewarded with the ride on Keepers Court.

"The last time I rode 54kg, I won the Bunbury Stakes on Proart for Adam," Hall said.

"I rode Rose Of Choice at 54.5kg when she won the other day (December 7).

"My weight is back down anyway. I don't ride 54 too often, but it's a half-a-million-dollar race so you've got to have a crack."

Hall wasted hard to ride the Durrant-trained Ma Chienne at 53kg in the 2010 Perth Cup.

The mare ran a close second to Lords Ransom, who gave Durr- ant his first win in the famous Group 2 feature.

Keepers Court has firmed to $13 with the TAB after an eye-catching fifth to Pop Culture in the ATA Handicap (2200m).

The five-year-old drops significantly in weight after carrying 59kg last start.

Hall replaces top jockey Will- iam Pike, who lost the cup ride when he was suspended for careless riding last Saturday week.

Knuckey will ride Marden, who has been in WA since last week after he was bought by Durrant and a syndicate.

Formerly trained by Chris Waller, Marden is a last-start Caulfield winner over 2000m. He is a $10 chance with the TAB.

Apprentice Chris Parnham will make his cup debut when he pilots Moonlight Bay.

The 16-year-old scored his first stakes win when guiding Moonlight Bay to victory in the Ascot Gold Cup (1800m) last month.

Moonlight Bay will be the only cup starter for breeder-owner Bob Peters after he scratched Elite Belle on Tuesday.

·WA apprentice Aaron Mitchell will make his Victorian debut at Kerang today. On loan to Pat Carey for three months, Mitchell rides Maphelane in race four and Sea Tryst in race five.

·Racing and Wagering WA will employ an equine welfare officer to help develop a program for the placement of retired racehorses.

RWWA chief executive Richard Burt said the role was created to increase the demand for retired thoroughbreds and standardbreds as pleasure and performance horses.