Local galloper Zahspeed remains the solid...
2017 Melbourne Cup jockeys for the ‘race that stops a nation’ on November 7 are taking shape including Kerrin McEvoy picking up the ride on Australian Bloodstock’s German raider Red Cardinal.
McEvoy is a dual Melbourne Cup winning hoop first saluting on the Michael Moroney-trained Brew (2000) in one of the closest and most controversial finishes in the race’s history.
He returned to the winner’s stall in the iconic Flemington Race 7 last spring handing owner Lloyd Williams with his fifth ‘Loving Trophy’ on lead-up The Bart Cummings champ Almandin (2016).
Now McEvoy chases a third win in the Group 1 $6.2 million Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) this season on six-year-old Montjeu gelding Red Cardinal.
The visitor is prepared by Andreas Wohler who also has experience winning a Melbourne Cup having done so in 2014 with Protectionist.
Protectionist was also Australian Bloodstock-raced and his winning Melbourne Cup hoop Ryan Moore was originally set to partner Red Cardinal in the field this spring.
Moore however has international commitments at the Breeders Cup meeting at Del Mar in the United States around the same time, forcing the change of riders.
“Logistically it was just going to be too hard getting him [Moore] out of there,” Australian Bloodstock’s Jamie Lovett told Racing Victoria.
“Kerrin didn’t have a ride lined up so it made sense.”
McEvoy is set to visit the Werribee International Horse Centre leading-up to Melbourne Cup Day to get an early feel on Red Cardinal, who took out the Group 3 Belmont Gold Cup (3219m) over the distance back in June.
“I’ll talk to him [McEvoy] in the morning and Andreas will liaise with him as to when the best time to get out there would be but I’d think he would give him a spin beforehand,” Lovett said.
“We’re very happy with him and we are very comfortable with the decision not to run him at Caulfield [in the Cup].”
Currently Red Cardinal, last seen finishing over six lengths behind Marmelo in the Group 2 Prix Kergorlay (3000m) in France on August 20, pays $11 as one of the early top hopes in futures Melbourne Cup betting at Ladbrokes.com.au.
The horse that beat him home in that key Melbourne Cup form race, the Hughie Morrison-trained Marmelo is equal $6.50 favourite with the reigning champ Almandin after a fast-finishing sixth in last weekend’s Caulfield Cup.
Marmelo will be better suited to 3200m than the 2400m of the Caulfield Cup, where he ran the quickest final sectionals of any runner including the upset winner Boom Time with Hugh Bowman aboard.
Australian Bloodstock’s local Melbourne Cup hope Big Duke was likely to be ridden by Brenton Avdulla.
Prepared by Darren Weir who won the Melbourne Cup in a massive boilover two years ago with Prince Of Penzance ($101 in 2015), Raven’s Pass six-year-old Big Duke is at $21 to salute in 2017.
Runner-up in the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) two back in Sydney with Avdulla aboard, Big Duke combined with the same hoop on October 14 for an impressive win under big weight in the $500,000 St Leger (2600m) race on The Everest Day.
McEvoy could also take on Winx in this weekend’s Group 1 Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley aboard Godolphin’s British invader Folkswood.
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