Melbourne Cup winning jockey Kerrin McEvoy will be fit to ride millionaire sprinter Redzel in the Group 1 $750,000 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) at Flemington on February 17.
McEvoy has been off the scene after undergoing surgery to repair a broken finger following an incident on the way to the barriers for the start of the BenchMark 84 Handicap (1200m) at Randwick on December 16.
The Kris Lees trained mare ducked sideways on her way to the starting gates, catching McEvoy unawares and he got his hand caught in the reins which caused the damage.
McEvoy has fully recovered and has been given the all clear to resume riding, possibly at Canterbury on Friday night.
“Six weeks since I’ve been out. I had a nice Christmas and a good break; I’m fresh and ready to go,” McEvoy told RSN 927’s Racing Pulse on Tuesday.
“I rode trackwork this morning, and the hand’s come through fine, so looking forward to getting back in the saddle maybe on Friday night.
“It’s all about getting through that first few days, getting confidence in the area. I’ve never done a hand before.
“I went in and did a few for Peter and Paul Snowden, a few quiet rides to get back into the groove.
“You’re always a little bit cautious through the first part, but I was pretty pleased with how it felt, and how it pulled up this morning.”
“I’ve got Redzel down in Melbourne. Looking forward to him trialling on Monday, and heads down there (Melbourne) for the first-up run.”
Redzel has won his last six starts with McEvoy in the saddle on four of those occasions and the pair are due to team up again in the upcoming Autumn Carnival, commencing with the Black Caviar Lightning down the Flemington straight.
The Peter and Paul Snowden trained sprinter is arguably the best sprinter in the country following his deeds during the 2017 Spring Carnival that saw Redzel and McEvoy combine for wins in the $10m The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 14 and in the Group 1 $1m Darley Classic (1200m) down the Flemington straight on the last day of the four day Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Redzel is well advanced into his preparation for his return to the racetrack and was given an easy trial with Josh Parr in the saddle for a seventh to Trapeze Artist over 900m at Rosehill on January 22.
Team Snowden have pencilled in another barrier trial at Rosehill next Monday before heading to Melbourne to kick off his Autumn Carnival campaign.
“He’s as good as gold. He’ll have a further trial at Rosehill on February 5,” co-trainer Peter Snowden told the Herald Sun.
Snowden has mapped out an Autumn Carnival program for Redzel that will then include the Group 1 $500,000 William Reid Stakes (1200m) at The Valley on March 23 before heading back to Sydney for the Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 7, day one of The Championships.
Bookies at Ladbrokes.com.au have installed Redzel as the clear $2.50 favourite to stretch his winning run to seven straight victories in the Black Caviar Lightning.
Early betting for the 2018 Black Caviar Lightning at Ladbrokes.com.au: $2.50 Redzel, $7 Russian Revolution, $8 Merchant Navy, $9 Catchy, Hey Doc, $11 Terravista, $13 Ball Of Muscle, $17 Redkirk Warrior, Supido, $21 Rock Magic, $26 Super Too.