Champion jockey Kerrin McEvoy will saddle the favourite Tiger Moth in today’s $7.5 million Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) hoping to win the great race for a fourth time aboard Aidan O’Brien’s Irish import.
The four-year-old son of Galileo is making his first appearance downunder off a last start win in the Group 3 Kilternan Stakes at Leopardstown and will step out as the $6.50 favourite at Flemington.
McEvoy has won the time-honoured race twice in the last four years aboard Cross Counter and Almandin and, not surprisingly, thinks Tiger Moth is ready to peak on his run.
“Confidence is Aidan O’Brien, I think he’s really pinned this horse as the target after he beat those older horses earlier in the year” McEvoy told Sky Radio this morning.
“There was a heap of races he could have ran in, he could have ran in the St Leger, he could have run against the older horses in races back home. He’s brought him out here for this race, so he’s got that three-year-old profile, I’m hoping he’s still on that upward curve.”
Tiger Moth drifted earlier in the week after drawing barrier 23, a gate that has produced six total winners in the past.
McEvoy didn’t deny the fact he’d have work to do from out wide but said if he can find some cover early and settle into the race, the pair should be tough to hold out late.
“From that gate I’m just going to see how the cards fall and how they unfold, but I think he’s a versatile type horse and I just have to get it right early and maybe get a bit of cover, get him to relax” McEvoy went on to say.
“You’ve got to get into a rhythm in a Melbourne Cup, if you have to work too long to the winning post the first time, no matter what way you come in, you’re fried. It’s all about getting into a spot and preserving that energy for when it matters.”
McEvoy overcame a similar wide draw aboard Cross Counter two years ago and is more than capable of timing his run to perfection if he can shuffle back early.
It’s always hard to determine the speed in a Melbourne Cup, but the early pace should be set from Dashing Willoughby and Master of Reality this year, leaving the likes of Tiger Moth, Russian Camelot, Surprise Baby and Warning to fight it out late.
Ladbrokes’ complete Melbourne Cup market can be viewed here, with an updated version of the final field available below.
Updated final field and barrier draw for the 2020 Melbourne Cup (3200m)
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||0330x25x12||ANTHONY VAN DYCK (IRE)||Aidan O’Brien||Hugh Bowman||3||58.5kg||122|
|2||54533×4626||AVILIUS||James Cummings||John Allen||10||57kg||116|
|3||21x395x900||VOW AND DECLARE||Danny O’Brien||Jamie Mott||4||57kg||115|
|4||3354x6221x||MASTER OF REALITY (IRE)||Joseph O’Brien||Ben Melham||11||56kg||113|
|5||44x2x222x1||SIR DRAGONET (IRE)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Glen Boss||14||55.5kg||121|
|6||x70x7x2113||TWILIGHT PAYMENT (IRE)||Joseph O’Brien||Jye McNeil||12||55.5kg||115|
|7||42212×1411||VERRY ELEEGANT (NZ)||Chris Waller||Mark Zahra||15||55.5kg||0.5kg||116|
|8||x1225x0098||MUSTAJEER (GB)||Kris Lees||Michael Rodd||2||55kg||114|
|9||2104xPx72x||STRATRUM ALBION (GB)||Willie Mullins||Jordan Childs||9||55kg||114|
|10||14579×1140||DASHING WILLOUGBY (GB)||Andrew Balding||Michael Walker||19||54.5kg||112|
|11||x51257x335||FINCHE (GB)||Chris Waller||James McDonald||6||54.5kg||112|
|12||20x3x36x34||PRINCE OF ARRAN||Charllie Fellowes||Jamie Kah||1||54.5kg||112|
|13||132x415x29||SURPRISE BABY (NZ)||Paul Preusker||Craig Williams||7||54.5kg||113|
|15||2x411x2123||RUSSIAN CAMELOT (IRE)||Danny O’Brien||Damien Oliver||16||53.5kg||118|
|16||x4679x0331||STEEL PRINCE||Anthony & Sam Freedman||WilliamPike||21||53.5kg||1.0kg||111|
|17||38572×1873||THE CHOSEN ONE||Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman||Daniel Stackhouse||5||53.5kg||111|
|18||853x5x2241||ASHRUN (FR)||Declan Bates||Declan Bates||24||53kg||110|
|19||755633×769||WARNING||Anthony & Sam Freedman||Luke Currie||8||53kg||115|
|20||6416341×04||ETAH JAMES (NZ)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Billy Egan||22||52.5kg||106|
|21||3x12x1||TIGER MOTH||Aidan O’Brien||Kerrin McEvoy||23||52.5kg||2.5kg||114|
|22||07511×0003||OCEANEX||Mick Price & Michael Kent Jr||Dean Yendall||17||51.5kg||108|
|23||1x84x40661||MIAMI BOUND||Danny O’Brien||Daniel Moor||13||51kg||111|
|24||3121112121||PERSAN||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Michael Dee||20||51kg||1.0kg||107|