The 2013 Melbourne Cup result could go any number of ways but leading jockey Kerrin McEvoy is confident that Royal Empire can give the Godolphin racing operation their first ever victory ‘in the race that stops a nation’.
Godolphin has produced strong Melbourne Cup results without actually winning the race; with Central Park (second in 1999), Give The Slip (second in 2001), Beekeeper (third in 2002) and Crime Scene (second in 2009) all performing well in the $6 million race.
McEvoy has gotten to know Royal Empire since he settled into the International Equine Centre in Werribee just over a fortnight ago and told Racing Ahead that the five-year-old gives him the feeling that he is primed to run well in the Melbourne Cup after handling the trip to Australia in excellent fashion.
“He seems really happy and is really fresh and well in himself,” McEvoy said.
“His whole attitude points to him travelling out here in nice style so that is a nice positive note going towards the big race.
“He has probably been cleverly handled by Godolphin and Saeed and he has got in with a nice weight.”
Royal Empire has form around Red Cadeaux, Lost In The Moment and Gatewood, who have all performed well in Australia, and McEvoy said that the Teofilo entire’s strong win in the Group 3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes (2670m) has him confident that he can achieve another positive Melbourne Cup result in the 2013 edition of the race.
“He has probably got to step up and improve a little bit more into this week but there is the element of the horse improving a little bit more in terms of trip wise, he has never won over this distance, and if he can improve in that corner he will give this race a real shake,” McEvoy said.
“He (Red Cadeaux) is obviously a good yardstick and his stablemate Lost In The Moment finished just behind Red Cadeaux so it is a form line that can give you some confidence going into the big race.
“Both his wins at Newbury were on a left-handed track so he is no worries going this way.
“I am looking forward to it; it is obviously a big open race and there are plenty of chances.
“You can make a case for a whole host of horses and it is exciting to be a part of it.”
McEvoy rode both Beekeeper and Crime Scene in the Melbourne Cup and believes that Royal Empire has just as much talent as the two Godolphin horses that surprised with their positive results in Australia’s most prestigious race.
“I think he’s compares quiet well,” McEvoy said.
“Crime Scene was a horse with a similar profile and Beekeeper was quiet unexposed as well.
“This fella is every bit as good as them and the exciting part is that Saeed seems quiet upbeat about him as well.”
McEvoy is chasing his third Group 1 victory of the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival after winning the Caulfield Guineas with Long John and the Thousand Guineas with Guelph.