Australian jockey Kerrin McEvoy has been allocated four rides for the Hong International Jockeys’ Championship and will ride Tony Millard-trained Crackerjack in the Asia Handicap (1800m) at Happy Valley on Wednesday.
McEvoy will be Australia’s representative in the Hong International Jockeys’ Championship and he will need to be at his very best after he had mixed luck during the jockeys’ allocation, which randomly assigns each rider in the series a horse in all four heats.
The leading jockey will partner track and distance specialist Home With Glory in the first race of the series; with the imported British galloper searching for his first race win since he took out the Ngong Pine Handicap (1650m) at the end of last year in what is a fairly open race.
Home With Glory started his campaign with an eighth place finish in the Shun Lee Handicap (1650) in September and finished a narrow second behind Twin Turbo before failing to fire in the Pine Handicap (1650) on November 6.
Expectator, who is still searching for his maiden race win, will be McEvoy’s ride in the second race of the Hong International Jockeys’ Championship and the Australian hoop can take confidence from the fact that Expectator finished a narrow second, when partnered by Douglas Whyte, in last year’s edition of the race.
The Oratorio gelding returned to the races with a ninth place finish in the Jackson Handicap (1200m) on November 20 and has missed the placings in his last five runs since finishing third in the Wai Yip Handicap (1800m) at Happy Valley earlier this year.
The third race of the Hong International Jockeys’ Championship is a sprint contest over 1000 metres and once again McEvoy has been allocated a horse that struggles to hit the line in front; with Precision King still chasing his first win his making his debut in Hong Kong at the start of the year.
Precision King recorded three race wins as a three-year-old when prepared by Murray Baker in New Zealand but has run just a single place, finishing third in the Dongzhimen Handicap (1000m) in April, in eight starts in Hong Kong.
McEvoy will complete the Hong International Jockeys’ Championship when he partners the inconsistent Enabling in the final race of the series and the former Richard Hannon-trained galloper chasing his first race win since he took out the Oi Tung Handicap (1650m) at Happy Valley on July 4.
McEvoy’s best ride of the day is on Crackerjack in the Asia Handicap but, unfortunately for the Group 1 winning jockey, the race does not count towards the Hong International Jockeys’ Championship.
Crackerjack has competed at Group level in Dubai and Hong Kong, finishing second in the 2012 Group 2 UAE Derby (1900m) and eighth in the Group 1 Hong Kong Classic Mile (1600m), and is taking winning form into the Asia Handicap after triumphing in the Begonia Handicap (1600m) in impressive fashion at Sha Tin on October 12.
McEvoy will be joined by Hong Kong-Based Australian Zac Purton in the International Jockeys’ Championship after the former Brisbane-based apprentice received an invitation for leading the Hong Kong Jockeys’ Premiership race.