DIRECT Hong Kong interest in Tuesday's Melbourne Cup heightened yesterday when Australian jockey Glen Boss revealed that he would be taking a flight home tonight to partner leading hope Champagne. Earlier yesterday, Champagne won the LKS MacKinnon Stakes, traditionally one of the big Melbourne Cup lead-up races. Within a hour, New Zealand trainer Laurie Laxon had sent a fax to the Jockey Club seeking the services of Boss. The Queenslander is currently on a three-month contract in Hong Kong as a Club Jockey but snapped up the offer immediately. He said: 'Champagne is a really live chance in the race and I am delighted to get the chance to ride her. I couldn't live with myself if I turned it down and she went on and won or ran a really great race. 'I don't think it is a particularly strong Melbourne Cup this year as there are a number of them suspect at the distance. That includes the favourite, Faithful Son. 'Of course, Champagne has got no form at the trip either but I am assured that they don't think that is a problem. 'I have ridden in the Cup before but never really anything with a top chance so this is a bit special,' added Boss, who has ridden for Laxon in the past. The trainer has previously won the Melbourne Cup with Empire Rose. Champion jockey Basil Marcus left last night for Melbourne to partner The Hind for Peter Hayes and Jockey Club steward Ronald Arculli is already in the Victorian capital. Sheer Danzig runs for Arculli on Tuesday and is an each-way hope. Boss would certainly like to continue where he left off at Happy Valley yesterday, where he landed his ninth winner of the season on Patrician for Geoff Lane. The nine races at Happy Valley went to nine different trainers and nine different jockeys. There was a disappointing attendance of 22,900 but turnover held up well with the final figure $1.1 billion. Meanwhile, several leading Australian trainers have criticised organisers of the Melbourne Cup after their horses were left out to make room for English stayer Yorkshire. When nominations for the country's richest and most famous race closed yesterday, the Paul Cole-trained Yorkshire was 25th on the order of entry with only the top 24 runners permitted to run. But the Victoria Racing Club (VRC) decided to employ rarely used discretionary powers to remove local runners Bulta and Bridleman.