Jockey Kerrin McEvoy is hoping to weave some magic to trick professional placegetter Tom Melbourne back into winning form in the 2018 Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on the first day of The Championships on Saturday.
Tom Melbourne is the winner of five races from twenty-seven starts but hasn’t visited the winner’s stall since trainer Anthony Freedman saddled him up to win the Listed $170,000 Albury Gold Cup (2000m) at Albury just over two years ago.
Since then Tom Melbourne and been switched to the Chris Waller stable and has finished third on two occasions and has ended up in the runner’s up stall nine times, including two at Group 1 level during the 2017 Spring Carnival in the $1m Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick and in the $1m Kennedy Mile (1600m) at Flemington.
McEvoy will be having his first race ride on Tom Melbourne but did partner the Chris Waller trained seven year old to a win in a 900m Rosehill barrier trial on February 19 and said he might have the trick to help him find the winner’s stall again.
“I suppose the key is not making it too hard for him by timing his run. You have to trick him into thinking he’s going better than he is,” McEvoy told Racing New South Wales News Desk.
“I’m happy to be on the horse and am hoping to get the job done.’’
“It’s important to get the right spot in running and the planning will start now.”
“The way he felt in the trial I thought it could be his best prep.’’
“I did get a good feeling at the trials and it was a good day out for both of us. He hit the line nicely.’’
Tom Melbourne is one of six Waller trained runners in the sixteen horse Doncaster Mile field and McEvoy will have to dig deeper into his bag of tricks after the perpetual placegetter came up with barrier fourteen.
Bookie’s at Ladbrokes.com.au have rated Tom Melbourne at $17 alongside of stablemate Comin’ Through who beat him a neck last start when they ran the quinella in the Group 2 $200,000 Hyland Race Colours Ajax Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on March 17.
The James Cummings trained Randwick Guineas winner Kementari sits at the top of the Doncaster Mile betting at $3.50 ahead of Canterbury Stakes winner Happy Clapper at $5 and the Waller trained D’Argento at $7.