The Victoria Derby has been a race of near misses for Kerrin McEvoy.
But the jockey is confident he can change that on Saturday when he rides favourite Hampton Court in the $1.5 million Classic at Flemington.
“I’ve run second in it four times so it’s definitely a race I really want to win,” McEvoy said.
McEvoy was beaten in a photo finish 12 years ago when Helenus edged Hydrometer and had to settle for second again 12 months later when Elvstroem denied Kempinsky.
As stable rider for Sheikh Mohammed’s Australian team of horses, McEvoy finished second on Induna in 2011 and again on Complacent last year.
He is now in demand as a freelance rider with Gai Waterhouse snaring his services after Hampton Court took out the Spring Champion Stakes in Sydney.
McEvoy has ridden Hampton Court in trackwork since the colt arrived in Melbourne and believes he ticks all the boxes for a Derby horse.
“His last win was outstanding. He’s the form horse going into the race and deserves to be favourite,” he said.
McEvoy has a strong book of feature race rides on an outstanding day of racing, including one of the leading chances, Rubick, in the Group One Coolmore Stud Stakes.
“I love the first day of the (Melbourne Cup) carnival, it’s my favourite, and hopefully I can taste some success during the day for a range of different trainers,” he said.