McEvoy all aboard Red express in Everest
CHAMPION jockey Kerrin McEvoy has made the first big call of the spring, choosing to stick with veteran sprinter Redzel over young gun Classique Legend in The Everest.
McEvoy made the tough call after riding Classique Legend in a barrier trial at Royal Randwick on Tuesday.
Classique Legend and Redzel are due to clash in the Group 2 The Shorts on September 21 and connections of both horses wanted the same jockey to ride their sprinter that day and again in The Everest.
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McEvoy was first-choice jockey for Classique Legend, the boom young sprinter who is being set for The TAB Everest and the $7.5 million Golden Eagle during the Sydney spring carnival.
But McEvoy is also the regular rider of Redzel, a brilliant first-up winner of the Concorde Stakes last Saturday which proved he was on target for an extraordinary Everest three-peat.
Classique Legend has won three of his four starts and has the potential to win the Everest-Golden Eagle double and collect an extraordinary $10,150,000 in prizemoney.
But Classique Legend is unproven at the top level, while Redzel has been one of the nation's best sprinters for three seasons. He has already won two Everests plus two Group 1 races and has banked more than $15.6 million.
"Redzel showed last Saturday he is back in really good form,'' McEvoy said. "It was a nice effort and just what we wanted to see from him after he didn't win a race through the autumn.''
Redzel's managing owners Triple Crown Syndications confirmed McEvoy was "locked and loaded for both races (The Shorts and Everest)".
MOUNTAIN CLIMBER! - Trainer Les Bridge will be pretty happy after #TheTABEverest aspirant Classique Legend with @KPMcEvoy aboard, took out a star-studded trial @royalrandwick this morning @carmelsize. There wasn't much wrong with Home Of The Brave for @godolphin either... pic.twitter.com/We5f3vq4pu— Sky Racing (@SkyRacingAU) September 9, 2019
McEvoy is also likely to partner another The Everest hopeful, outstanding Perth mare Arcadia Queen, in the Group 2 $200,000 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Arcadia Queen has won five of her six starts, including the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic at Ascot. She has shaped promisingly in two recent trials, the latest under Hugh Bowman when third at Canterbury last week.
"I haven't sat on Arcadia Queen before but I'm riding trackwork at Rosehill (this morning), so I might get the chance to ride her then,'' McEvoy said. "She has a very good record in Perth and her trials have been really pleasing.''
McEvoy's other rides on Saturday include JJ Atkins winner Prince Fawaz, who is resuming in a star-studded Group 2 $200,000 Run To The Rose (1200m).
The top seven in betting for the Group 1 $1 million Golden Rose this month are among Run To The Rose entries; Exceedance, Yes Yes Yes, Bivouac, Kubrick, Dawn Passage, Castelvecchio and Prince Fawaz.