Godolphin’s departing number one jockey Kerrin McEvoy will stick with the stable’s three year old Sweynesse in the Group 3 $200,000 Gloaming Stakes (1800m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
McEvoy announced on Tuesday that he would be relinquishing his position with Godolphin Australia but will honour his commitment to ride Sweynesse after partnering the Lonhro colt to an impressive win in the Group 3 $125,000 Coca-Cola Spring Stakes (1600m) at Newcastle on September 17.
“Looking forward to riding Sweynesse on the weekend. It was a lovely win in the Spring Stakes, so he’s a nice horses heading forward,” McEvoy said.
And McEvoy also said that he would be available for rides for Godolphin in the furture if he was required.
‘I’ve got some rides for Godolphin this week and next week and I’m sure the picture will become a little bit clearer heading on to next week, but there is nothing stopping Godolphin booking me for rides in the future and I would be happy to take rides,” McEvoy said.
McEvoy’s decision to leave Godolphin was always going to eventuate after trainer John O’Shea took over the reins in May with the departure of long-time trainer Peter Snowden.
While McEvoy was the number one rider for Snowden when the operation was known as Darley, O’Shea’s new philosophy was to use several jockeys with McEvoy not getting the pick of the stable rides anymore.
But there was no disagreement with McEvoy deciding to ride freelance from his base in Sydney.
“There’s been no blue with John, and I said to him, ‘this is my decision, I’m moving forward, and if you need me at the trials or the races, I’m all for it’,’’ McEvoy told The Daily Telegraph.
“There’s been a change in direction at Godolphin, and rather than tread water and become more and more frustrated about not being on the main chances for Sheikh Mohammed, I felt it was best for me to get out and about.’’
“There have been races where I wasn’t on the first choice.”
“It’s been tough to get my head around it all, but I’m happy with my decision now it’s out.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time working for Sheikh Mohammed (Godolphin boss), and I’ve got some memories that will last forever.
“But it’s time for me to renew some associations, build some new ones, and hopefully get on some fast horses.’’
Darley Australia boss Henry Plumptre gave McEvoy a glowing farewell report.
“He’s been a model servant for Sheikh Mohammed for a long time now, he’s been diligent, dedicated, I’ve never seen him lose a race he should have won, but I think it’s an exciting time for him to spread his wings,’’ Plumptre said.
McEvoy has already picked up the plum Spring ride on the Gerald Ryan trained Rubick who is heading towards the Group 1 $500,000 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on November 1 and will partner Caulfield Cup favourite Lucia Valentina through the Spring.
McEvoy combined with Lucia Valentina to win first up in the Group 2 $175,000 Tattersalls Club Tramway Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on September 6 before the pair finished sixth to Sacred Falls in the Group 1 $350,000 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on September 20.
Lucia Valentina is currently the $9 favourite for the Group 1 $3m Crown Golden Ale Caulfield Cup (2400m) to be run at Caulfield on October 18.