Trainer John O’Shea rejects claims that he had a say in jockey Kerrin McEvoy’s decision to relinquish the position of stable rider for the giant Godolphin operation earlier this week.
McEvoy had been part of the Sheikh Mohammed’s global operation for eleven years and dropped a bombshell on Tuesday morning when he informed O’Shea that he would be riding freelance in the future.
O’Shea only took over the control of Godolphin’s Australian racing operation in May after Peter Snowden took up a training partnership with his son Paul and said then that he would be happy to McEvoy continue to ride for the stable.
But McEvoy claims that the decision to leave was his own although some reports suggested that O’Shea had some influence.
“It’s been a tough week this week because people have said a lot of things that just aren’t true but obviously if you throw enough mud it will stick,” O’Shea told Racing.com.
“I’ve got a thick skin but if your wife, your children and your parents read it eventually when you see them upset, it’s hard to wear.”
Since O’Shea was given the reins he has used many jockeys for his huge team with McEvoy sometimes being over looked for some of the top mounts.
“When I got the job I was given the option to decide who would ride for the stable and I chose Kerrin and I was happy for Kerrin to be there.”
“Kerrin was well within his rights to make the decision that he felt was in the best interests of his family.
“Obviously I was disappointed when he made the decision but I can guarantee that I didn’t sack him.”
“I’m sure Kerrin will ride a Group 1 for us over the Spring and that will be the most rewarding moment of the carnival for me.”
Even though McEvoy has officially split with Godolphin, the internationally experience rider said that he would still be available for rides if needed and will honour his commitment to ride the promising Sweynesse in the Group 3 $200,000 Gloaming Stakes (1800m) and Abduction in the Listed $100,000 Barcardi Reginald Allen Quality (1400m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
Sweynesse with McEvoy aboard scored an impressive win in the Group 3 $125,000 Coca-Cola Spring Stakes (1600m) at Newcastle on September 17 and has been installed the $2.20 favourite for the Gloaming Stakes with Ladbrokes.com.au.
“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.
“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.”
In a tight betting race in the six horse field, the Peter and Paul Snowden trained Diamond Valores is marked at $2.80 with Spring Stakes runner up Pounamu at $3.60.
The other three runners are at double figure odds with Road To Shangri La at $18, Forbidden Jewel at $51 and Lord Beckworth at $71.
McEvoy will also be on the O’Shea trained Kumaon, an $11 chance in the Group 2 $200,000 Jeep Stutt Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley tonight.