Melbourne Cup winning jockey Kerrin McEvoy will return from injury at Rosehill on Saturday with a handy book of six rides which will include odds on favourite Performer in the Group 3 $150,000 Toyota Material Handling Canonbury Stakes (1100m).
McEvoy has been off the scene after undergoing surgery to repair a broken finger following an incident on the way to the barriers on Sugar Bella 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 and will test out his injured hand on Friday night with two rides at Canterbury, the Chris Waller trained Asterius in the Three Year Old Maiden Handicap (1550m) and Reach For Heaven from the Kris Lees stable in the BenchMark 78 Handicap (1250m).
“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 (Tuesday), 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.”
McEvoy will replace the suspended Hugh Bowman who was aboard Performer at his only start when a debut winner in the Listed $150,000 Arrowfield Breeders’ Plate (1000m) at Randwick on September 30.
Ladbrokes.com.au currently have Performer as the $8 second favourite for the Group 1 $3.5m Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on March 24 but the Exceed And Excel colt is the short priced $1.60 top pick for the Canonbury Stakes.
McEvoy will team up with Waller for three rides and as well as riding Performer, will partner Charlayne in the first race on the nine race Rosehill card, the $100,000 BenchMark 78 Handicap (1100m) and Fiesta in the Group 3 $150,000 Widden Stakes (1100m).
Fiesta is also highly fancied to win the Widden Stakes and is the early $3.20 favourite on the strength of her 2017 Spring Carnival form which saw her finish third in the Listed $150,000 Keeneland Gimcrack Stakes (1000m) followed by a second in the $100,00 Kirkham Plate (1000m), both at Randwick.
McEvoy’s other mounts are Global Glamour in the Group 2 $200,000 Sydney Markets Limited Expressway Stakes (1200m), More Moet in the $100,000 BenchMark 81 Handicap (2000m) and Don’t Give A Damn in the $100,000 BenchMark 83 Handicap (1300m).
McEvoy is also looking forward to re-uniting with the Peter and Paul Snowden trained Redzel who is scheduled to kick off his 2018 Autumn Carnival campaign in the Group 1 $750,000 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) at Flemington on February 17.
Redzel is the winner of his last six starts with McEvoy in the saddle for four of them, which includes his history making victory in the inaugural running of the $10m The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 14 followed by his last start win in the Group 1 $1m Darley Classic (1200m) down the Flemington straight on the last day of the 2017 four day Melbourne Cup Carnival.