• Jason Regan

McEvoy's Grand plan for more Cup success

Twenty-one years after winning his first Melbourne Cup, jockey Kerrin McEvoy is within reach of equalling the riding record in Australia's greatest race.


McEvoy will join Bobbie Lewis and Harry White as a four-time Melbourne Cup-winning jockey if Grand Promenade wins the $8 million race at Flemington. He is respected as a rider with few peers when it comes to an extended distance, honing his skills in Europe after winning the 2000 Cup on Brew.

It was a 16-year wait before he won the Melbourne Cup again, teaming up with Almandin before reuniting with the Godolphin stable when Cross Counter saluted in 2018. Grand Promenade is rated one of the better lightweight chances with 52kg after winning his way into the Cup in a lead-up race at Flemington last month.


Jockey Kerrin McEvoy has a Melbourne Cup record in his sights when he rides Grand Promenade. (Julian Smith/AAP PHOTOS)

McEvoy's experience could make the difference in a race in which nine jockeys are having their first Melbourne Cup ride.

"The first thing that springs to mind is to be patient, it's a long way around there at Flemington and it's a very tactical race," McEvoy said.
"I'll go out with a plan, but to be fluid at the same time because our races are forever changing and evolving and especially so over two miles at Flemington."

Two horses will be vetted before Tuesday morning's scratching deadline with Delphi and Future Score under fitness clouds. Both horses had lameness issues when Racing Victoria ran mandatory veterinary tests on all 24 runners on Monday.



Incentivise will carry the weight of expectation for an Australian victory as an easing but pronounced favourite to complete the Caulfield Cup-Melbourne Cup double. On the line will be a winning streak that began nine starts ago under part-owner and former trainer Steve Tregea - as well as bragging rights over the internationals.


Incentivise has been a clear-cut favourite since winning last month's Caulfield Cup with an exhibition of staying power few Australian-bred horses can claim. He will be ridden by Brett Prebble who won the race in 2014 for Lloyd Williams on Green Moon.

Prebble is enjoying one of his best spring carnivals, mainly due to landing the ride on Incentivise.


UPDATE ON VETTINGS

The Anthony and Sam Freedman-trained stayer Delphi has been cleared to run in the Melbourne Cup. The talented import, who has been supported in betting since the barrier draw on Saturday night. He was inspected by RV vets this morning after he presented with lameness in his left foreleg Monday.


The horse had shown signs of the same mild lameness on Thursday but was cleared by RV vets the following day, allowing connections to accept for the Melbourne Cup.

Damien Oliver will ride Delphi in the Cup.


The news wasn't as good for the connections of Future Score with the outsider withdrawn from the race after failing a last-minute inspection. The final call was made just moments before the scratching deadline at 7.30 am.


Future Score had presented with lameness in his right foreleg. A disappointed Matt Cumani says he accepts vets’ decision to scratch Future Score from the Cup but is in no doubt the horse was fit to run in the race.