Darley’s number one rider Kerrin McEvoy is hopeful to be fit to ride Earthquake in the Group 3 $150,000 Sportingbet Blue Diamond Prelude (Fillies) (1100m) at Caulfield on February 8.
Trainer Peter Snowden has called on leading Melbourne rider Damien Oliver to partner Earthquake in an 800m barrier trial at Cranbourne on Thursday while McEvoy recovers from an injured knee as a result of a fall in New Zealand on Sunday.
McEvoy injured his left knee when he fell from Massale at the 700m in the Sunday’s NZ$1m NZB Karaka Million (1200m) at Ellerslie, crashing through the inside running rail, and after fearing he would be on the sideline for a few weeks, was pleased to get a good report from his physio today.
“The report from this morning is very positive, my physio said I don’t even need an MRI, she is confident it is just bruising around the medial ligament, nothing too serious,” McEvoy told Racing Network.
“It has improved a lot in the past 24 hours.
“She is confident I will be right to return to trackwork next Tuesday.”
“The soreness I’m feeling now is from the bone bruising. I’ve either hit the upright with my knee, or the horse has clipped me on the way through.
“Thank God for the plastic uprights because I wiped out three of them yesterday. Had they been steel like they were a few years ago, I probably wouldn’t be talking today. To walk away from something like that, it could have been catastrophic if the rail was like it was a few years ago.”
McEvoy had feared that a serious knee injury would force him to miss out on some key Autumn Carnival mounts including Exceed And Excel filly Earthquake who is shaping up as one of the main contenders for the Group 1 $1m Sportingbet Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 22 and the Group 1 $3.5m Tooheys New Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on April 5.
Oliver will ride Earthquake on Thursday and Snowden has put the three time Melbourne Cup winning jockey on stand-by to ride the filly in the Blue Diamond Prelude if McEvoy hasn’t recovered in time.
“Damien is booked to ride Thursday with the understanding that if Kerrin doesn’t return (Saturday week), he’s on,” Snowden told The Daily Telegraph.
“It’s important for me to have someone who has ridden the horse. Damien does ride in the jumpouts, and it’s important he gets a feel for her.
“It’s not ideal, that’s for sure, but time will tell with Kerrin. He’ll know in next week how he’ll be. He’ll need to ride trackwork by tomorrow week if he’s going to ride next Saturday.”
McEvoy is confident that he will be able to resume track next Tuesday and prove his fitness to take the mount in the Blue Diamond Prelude.
Earthquake scored an impressive win on debut over 1000m at Randwick last November and was immediately installed as the favourite for both the Blue Diamond Stakes and the Golden Slipper but lost her spot at the head of the market orders after first starter Rubick scored a dominant win at Randwick last Saturday.
Blue Diamond Stakes markets have the Gerald Ryan trained Rubick the $3.60 favourite ahead of Earthquake at $4 while Golden Slipper markets are similar with Rubick the top pick at $4.50 with Earthquake at $5.50.