Kerrin McEvoy is becoming a go-to jockey for trainer Gai Waterhouse who admits to being an unabashed fan of the rider.
McEvoy rode most of Waterhouse’s Melbourne runners last weekend, including Group One winner Cosmic Endeavour in her spring return.
While Blake Shinn will be the main rider for Tulloch Lodge at Randwick on Saturday, early markets indicate McEvoy has the best chance to deliver Waterhouse a win aboard Speak Fondly, the $2.90 favourite for the Furious Stakes.
Waterhouse no longer has a stable rider and McEvoy, a free agent after his split with Godolphin last spring, brings international experience and a level head.
“I think he’s an outstanding, under-rated jockey,” Waterhouse said.
“He’s been a jockey to Godolphin over in Europe.
“He can ride Sydney, Melbourne. I think he’s exceptionally talented and an easy man to work with.”
McEvoy partnered Speak Fondly to her first-up win in the opening leg of the Princess series, the Silver Shadow Stakes, when she mustered speed after a slow start to score decisively.
She will be one of two Waterhouse runners in Saturday’s Group Two race along with Golden Slipper runner-up English.
The pair dominate betting with English a $3.80 second pick and Waterhouse feels bookmakers have made the right assessment.
“She’s (English) very forward and it will be very interesting to see how she goes,” Waterhouse said.
“I suppose her stablemate is the horse to beat. She’s made a quantum leap, I cannot fault her.
“I slightly prefer the one that is up and has had the run under her belt.”
English was listed to wear blinkers for the first time when gear changes were released at acceptance time but the filly will race without them when she resumes.
Racing NSW stewards said there had been a miscommunication between Waterhouse and Shinn after the filly had contested a barrier trial on August 21.
Shinn told stewards he had not recommended blinkers because English had over-raced in them during the trial and he believed they would be detrimental to her chances in the Furious.