Kerrin McEvoy will try to win the Herbert Power Stakes on an overseas-trained horse for the second time in three years when he rides Van Percy at Caulfield.
McEvoy ventured to the Werribee quarantine centre on Sunday morning to ride the Andrew Balding-trained Van Percy in a gallop and was pleased with how he worked in company with Dandino and Guest Of Honour.
“I was really happy with my horse. He seems nice and bright and has travelled over well,” McEvoy said.
“He was happy doing his work and he gave me a nice feel doing his work.
“He’s fit and healthy and I’m looking forward to riding him on Saturday.”
McEvoy won the Herbert Power two years ago on French stayer Shahwardi.
Van Percy, who is raced by OTI Racing, finished second in the Ebor Handicap at York in August behind Mutual Regard.
“I’m sure he’s going to run a good race on Saturday,” McEvoy said.
“It’s shaping up as not a bad field so it’s going to be a good test.”
The winner of the Herbert Power gains a ballot exemption into the Caulfield Cup the following week.
If he makes the Caulfield Cup field, Van Percy will have a new rider with McEvoy committed to the favourite Lucia Valentina.
The Kris Lees-trained mare cemented her claims for the $3 million race with a brilliant win in Saturday’s Group One Turnbull Stakes at Flemington.
Lucia Valentina is the $6 favourite for the Caulfield Cup as McEvoy strives to win the 2400m handicap for the second time after his victory on All The Good in 2008.
Chris Waller-trained stablemates Junoob and Who Shot Thebarman will be relying on the handicappers’ decision on Monday to make the field.
Both need a penalty to ensure a Caulfield Cup berth. Junoob won Saturday’s Group One Metropolitan at Randwick while Who Shot Thebarman won the Group Three Bart Cummings at Flemington.
Waller believes it would be unfair if Who Shot Thebarman did not get a start.
“He is a Group One winner in New Zealand,” he said.
“He is in form and surely he gets a start after that win.”