Leading jockey Kerrin McEvoy has picked up the plumb ride on Sacred Falls for the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
McEvoy has never previously ridden Sacred Falls but will partner the four-year-old at Group 1 level this weekend; with Tommy Berry, who rode Sacred Falls to victory in the Group 1 Doncaster Handicap (1600m) during the 2013 Autumn Racing Carnival, locked in to ride one of Gai Waterhouse’s horses in the race.
McEvoy has ridden for Waller at Group 1 level in the past, winning the 2010 Doomben Cup (2000m) with Metal Bender and the 2009 Manikato Stakes with Danleigh, and Waller said he believes the Melbourne Cup winner is the perfect jockey for Sacred Falls.
“Sacred Falls is a horse who needs a confident ride, someone who can cuddle him and I think Kerrin will suit him,” Waller told AAP.
Waller is set to have three runners in the Epsom Handicap and all have been well backed to give the leading trainer his first ever win in the $500,000 race.
Guy Walter-trained Toydini ($4.60) is the current favourite in Epsom Handicap betting but the Waller-trained trio of Boban ($5), Sacred Falls ($11) and Riva De Lago ($17) have all been well backed.
Although Boban is considered by punters to be Waller’s leading chance in the race, the trainer himself believes that Sacred Falls is the best credentialed of his three runners.
“I think we’ve got three good chances but Sacred Falls is clearly the better performed because he is a multiple Group One winner third-up after a spell,” Waller said.
“He is ready to race and I think he is pretty well weighted.”
Sacred Falls is chasing his third win over a mile at Group 1 level in the Epsom Handicap after his past success in the New Zealand 2000 Guineas at Riccarton Park last November and the Doncaster Handicap at Royal Randwick in April.
McEvoy has ridden in the Epsom Handicap on four occasions; finishing second on Ambidexter in last’s race and unplaced on Raspberries (2011), Drumbeats (2009) and Nanny Maroon (2001).