Melbourne Cup winning jockey Kerrin McEvoy will ride Kiwi galloper Turn Me Loose when he returns to Melbourne to run in the Group 2 $200,000 Jeep Australia Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on January 27.
McEvoy has had one previous ride on the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman trained Turn Me Loose for a win in the Group 1 $1m Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington during the 2015 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
Turn Me Loose was out of form during the 2016 Spring Carnival and McEvoy replaces Damien Oliver who was on board the five year old when eighth to Star Turn in the Group 2 $400,000 Mitsubishi Electric Schillaci Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on October 8 followed by an eighth to Malaguerra in the Group 1 $1m Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 5.
“He (McEvoy) won the Emirates on him so he knows him well,” co-trainer Murray Baker told nzracing.co.
Baker admits that the 1200m of the Australia Stakes could be too short for Turn Me Loose whose main Autumn Carnival targets are the two 1400m weight for age Group 1s at Caulfield, the $500,000 C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) on February 11 and the $500,000 Futurity Stakes (1400m) on February 25.
Turn Me Loose will be trying to make it back to back wins in the Futurity Stakes and Baker is very happy with the way the Iffraaj stallion is progressing in his Autumn Carnival preparation and expects him to improve on his first run over 1200m.
“It’s only 1200 metres and it will be too short for him. He always needs a race to get him going. The main aims are the Orr Stakes and the Futurity Stakes, which he won last year,” Baker said.
“I’ve got to say that we are thrilled with the way the horse is going.”
Turn Me Loose is the winner of seven of his seventeen race starts plus four minor placings and has earned just over $1.5 million in prizemoney for his connections.