Big race rider Kerrin McEvoy has acquainted himself with the Gai Waterhouse trained Hampton Court and said he feels like the type of three year old that could win the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington tomorrow.
McEvoy will be the new jockey on Hampton Court, replacing Josh Parr who steered the Redoute’s Choice colt to an upset win in the Group 1 $400,000 Moet & Chandon Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick three weeks ago, but has been aboard him at several recent trackwork session.
“I have ridden him a few times now,” McEvoy told The Australian.
“He is an exciting horse to be on and it seems as though he has travelled down in good form. He is coming off the back of two great wins, so he is going to be a great chance.”
“You can learn a lot from trackwork so I am confident going into the race that I know as much as I need to know about the horse.”
McEvoy also got some inside information from Parr who was happy to offer some advice after loosing the ride on the Victoria Derby favourite.
“Josh gave me a call just after I was booked to give me his thoughts on the horse and I’m thankful for him giving me some insight,” McEvoy said.
“He said he’s a very push button, he can take a spot or sit back off the tempo.”
“He has a nice way about him, a pretty comfortable horse to ride and I’m really happy to be in his back.”
Waterhouse has Hampton Court peaking at the right time of the Spring with the colt also winning the Listed $100,000 TAB Betting Season Dulcify Quality (1600m) with Hong Kong based Joao Moreira at Randwick the week before his Spring Champion Stakes win.
“He’s in cracking form and if he can repeat his last start effort he’s going to be hard to topple.” McEvoy said.
“He was very strong hitting the line at Randwick and that last furlong was quite pleasing looking to go up in trip.”
Hampton Court will carry the number one saddlecloth for the Victoria Derby and is also the clear cut favourite with Ladbrokes.com.au at $2.40.
The Chris Waller trained Preferment will be wearing a pair of winkers for the first time and is the second pick at $7 just ahead of last start Moonee Valley winner Moonovermanhattan at $8.50.
The Danny O’Brien trained Bondeiger and Atmosphere from the Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young stable head the rest of the field at $11.