Caulfield Cup winner Mongolian Khan has worked strongly ahead of his return to racing, ensuring there is unlikely to be a more enthusiastic stand-in jockey than Kerrin McEvoy at Randwick.
Mongolian Khan will take on Winx in the Chipping Norton Stakes on Saturday in his first start since winning the Caulfield Cup in October.
Colic robbed the New Zealand star of his chance to complete the Caulfield Cup-Melbourne Cup double, but McEvoy said the four-year-old would be a picture of health for a Group One weight-for-age test against Australia’s best racehorse.
The jockey is filling in for regular rider Opie Bosson who will partner stablemate Turn Me Loose in the Futurity Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday.
McEvoy made a cross-city dash from Randwick to Warwick Farm on Tuesday morning to ride Mongolian Khan for the first time in a piece of work with a galloping partner on the course proper that pleased the jockey.
“He sat off one and joined up and went by it in the straight,” McEvoy told Sky Sports Radio.
“It was good to get on him. I’m pretty happy to be on him for that one race … you don’t get a chance to ride a Caulfield Cup winner every day.”
“He’s bright and well and it was sharp, strong work this morning.”
McEvoy expects Mongolian Khan to benefit from his Chipping Norton hit-out although the entire will step out in sound order.
“He looks great in condition. I had a good look at him before I got on him. He’s got nice improvement to come out of his first-up run as you would expect,” he said.
“But he felt well in himself, his action was good. Everything this morning points to him being in seemingly top shape and condition going into his first-up run.”
Mongolian Khan campaigned in Sydney 12 months ago, improving sharply on his first start when unplaced in the Rosehill Guineas to beat Hauraki in the ATC Australian Derby at Randwick.
He occupies the third line of early betting on the Chipping Norton at $9.50 with Winx maintaining a stranglehold on betting at $1.50 before acceptances on Wednesday.