Albion chairman Tony Bloom will have the services of the champion jockey for his bid to win the Melbourne Cup - providing Withold gets into the field.

Brazilian Silvestre De Sousa has been booked to ride Withold in the 'race that stops a nation' at Flemington on November 6.

The five-year-old gelding, owned by Bloom and trained by Roger Charlton, is ante-post favourite at around 8-1 but his participation is uncertain.

He needs several horses above him in the weights to drop out to take his place in the 24-runner field for the Group 1 event over two miles.

Withold has earned his place at the head of the market after winning the Northumberland Plate on his last outing at Newcastle in June, which followed another smooth success in last season's Cesarewitch at Newmarket.

Robert Winston, Bloom's retained jockey, rode him at Newcastle, but he cannot make Withold's 8st 5lb weight for the Melbourne Cup.

Bloom's charge will have the assistance instead of De Sousa, who rode him to a runaway victory in the Newmarket race.

Withold, along with other long-distance contenders for the Flemington meeting, had a 62-hour journey to Australia.

Their flight from Europe was forced to spend around 20 hours on the tarmac at Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates due to a cracked windscreen.

Charlton has said he may be forced to give Withold a prep race next month to get him into the Melbourne Cup.

The Argus: Bloom (above), whose wife Linda (left) is Australian, told The Argus in August: "The idea is that Withhold is going to run. It has a reasonable chance but it is one of the toughest races in the world to win.

"Winning the Melbourne Cup would be pretty special, pretty unbelievable, but I don't think anything is going to compare to taking Brighton into the Premier League."