Kerrin McEvoy has ridden the winners of 63 Group One races but the Victoria Derby is one that has eluded him.
The star jockey gets his latest chance to add the $1.5 million Classic at Flemington to his haul of feature race victories when he rides Eshtiraak on Saturday.
McEvoy rates Eshtiraak a good chance in the 2500m staying test for three-year-olds after his last-start fifth in one of the traditional lead-ups, the Caulfield Classic (2000m).
“It’s been one of my bogey races,” McEvoy said.
“I’ve had four close seconds and I’ll be out there trying to get that one win that’s eluded me until now.
“I’m happy with Eshtiraak and I’m looking forward to the race.”
McEvoy’s most recent runner-up finish was on Complacent in 2013 while his two rides in the race since have finished unplaced, including 2014 favourite Hampton Court.
A four-time winner during his juvenile season, Eshtiraak is yet to win in five starts this spring and is at $19 for the Derby.
“He ran a good race at Caulfield last start,” McEvoy said.
“He went back and settled last on a day when it was hard to make up ground and he finished right alongside Main Stage (third). Obviously Main Stage is one of the favourites.
“My horse has come out of the race well and we’ve drawn a nice alley in barrier five. He’s a horse that can run well.”
A dual Melbourne Cup winning jockey including last year with Almandin, McEvoy has rides in all four Group One races on Saturday.
KERRIN McEVOY’S NEAR MISSES IN THE VICTORIA DERBY
* Hydrometer – 2nd to Helenus (2002)
* Kempinsky – 2nd to Elvstroem (2003)
* Induna – 2nd to Sangster (2011)
* Complacent – 2nd to Polanski (2013)