Fresh from capturing Sydney’s two biggest races of the spring, jockey Kerrin McEvoy is setting his sights on winning the only leg of the sport’s grand slam to elude him.
The Melbourne and Caulfield Cups, Cox Plate and Golden Slipper are considered the jewels in the crown of Australian racing.
Only seven jockeys have won them all and Damien Oliver is the only member of that coveted club still riding.
McEvoy has won three Melbourne Cups, a Golden Slipper on Sepoy and a Caulfield Cup on All Too Hard and he needs a Cox Plate to complete his set.
The hoop has been in superb touch in Sydney, breaking his hoodoo in Randwick’s big mile races with an Epsom Handicap victory on Probabeel before a barnstorming win in The Everest aboard popular grey Classique Legend.
He reunites with Probabeel in Saturday’s Moonee Valley showpiece, with the Jamie Richards-trained mare out to emulate her sire, Savabeel.
New Zealand’s champion sire, Savabeel, won the Cox Plate in 2004.
“It’s a quality Group One race and everyone wants it on the list if they can.
“For me, it’s the last grand slam one to tick off so it would be a real treat.”
McEvoy’s chances of adding the Cox Plate to his resume could hinge on Melbourne’s weather.
Probabeel’s best form is on dry tracks so the jockey is hoping the predicted rain does not eventuate.
Not only is the mare better on firmer footing, she has drawn barrier two, a gate McEvoy fears could be a negative if the track is wet.
“If it comes up a (soft) five or six I think she will handle that. Just fingers crossed we don’t get too much rain,” McEvoy said.
“You’ve got to be a tiny bit worried if the rain does come and we’ve got barrier two. We know what the Valley can be like when there’s rain around.”
Cox Plate day could be the start of a fruitful Victorian sojourn for McEvoy. He is booked to ride favourite Tiger Moth in the Melbourne Cup along with Probabeel’s stablemate Melody Belle in the Mackinnon Stakes.