Three-time Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Kerrin McEvoy reckons it’s only a matter of time before champion trainer Chris Waller wins Australia’s most famous race.
And McEvoy hopes that is as soon as Tuesday when he rides the Waller-trained import Finche in this year’s $8 million Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington.
McEvoy claimed his third Cup last year when he steered the Charlie Appleby-trained English stayer Cross Counter to victory to give global racing giant Godolphin its first Cup success.
And just like McEvoy did not want to miss out when the ‘blue army’ finally won the Cup last year, he is hopeful it is Australia’s leading trainer Waller’s time to claim an elusive Cup on Tuesday.
“These guys are star trainers so you’ve got to be in their camp when you think it’s right,” McEvoy said.
“I obviously ride a lot for Chris in Sydney and it just fitted well. I think Finche can run a great race for everyone.”
Finche finished fourth in last year’s Cup in his first Australian start after joining the Waller stable.
After winning the Kingston Town Stakes on the French import in September McEvoy was confirmed as Finche’s rider for the Melbourne Cup.
McEvoy has missed riding Finche in his past two starts – second in the Turnbull Stakes and fourth in the Caulfield Cup – but is confident the stayer is on target for Tuesday having watched those races and since partnered him in trackwork at Flemington.
“He showed he’s in fine fettle the way he finished off his work so he can run a great race I reckon,” McEvoy said.
“He’s come through a nice effort in the race last year and he has shown this preparation that he’s in good form.”
Cross Counter carried 51kg as a northern hemisphere three-year-old last year but goes up to 57.5kg in his Cup defence.
Finche stays on 54kg which McEvoy hopes ,can help him turn the tables.
“The same weight appeals to me,” McEvoy said.
“He’s that little bit older now and he’s acclimatised to our conditions.
“Chris Waller is going to win it one year, I’m sure, and it could be this year.
“So they are all good reasons to stick with this horse.”
McEvoy’s first Cup win came on Brew in 2000 while his second was 16 years later on Almandin.
Finche was on the third line of betting at $10 on Sunday.
He is one of two runners for Waller with Youngstar, to be ridden by Tommy Berry, also taking her place having finished sixth last year.