McEvoy, Richards enjoy a day to remember
Kerrin McEvoy has finally broken his hoodoo in Randwick’s big mile races with a memorable Epsom Handicap victory aboard Kiwi mare Probabeel.
He just failed to make it a Group One double a race later when he was narrowly beaten aboard Mugatoo in the Metropolitan.
The top jockey has enjoyed a decorated career which includes three Melbourne Cup wins but until Saturday he had been unable to crack a victory in either the Epsom or Doncaster.
“It’s a really good feeling. To join the honour roll of the Epsom is fantastic,” McEvoy said.
McEvoy said he and trainer Jamie Richards hatched a plan to ride Probabeel positively when she drew wide.
The mare jumped well and McEvoy was able to find some cover before setting out after arch rival Funstar halfway up the straight.
“She showed her true grit there,” McEvoy said.
“She really picked up well for me and I knew that if I could just have a conservative run through the first part she was going to be really strong for me with no weight on her back, and that is exactly what she was able to do.”
Probabeel ($6.50) and Funstar ($10) have enjoyed a great rivalry and were the first two across the line in the Epsom with the New Zealander triumphing by a length.
Riodini ($16) was another short neck away.
Richards watched the race in New Zealand on his way home from the Hawkes Bay meeting where Melody Belle led home a stable quinella over Avantage in the Group One Windsor Park Plate.
“This is an unbelievable day – to win a Group One at Hastings and a Group One in Sydney,” Richards said.
“We won two Group One races on the same day in Sydney earlier this year with Te Akau Shark in the Chipping Norton Stakes and Probabeel in the Surround Stakes but this would have to be right up there with my best days as a trainer.
“I haven’t been able to touch this mare or see her in the flesh for four months so all credit to my team in Sydney, they have done a great job.”
Probabeel’s victory was redemption of a sort after the Richards-trained Te Akau Shark was narrowly denied by Kolding in the 2019 Epsom.
Glen Boss said Funstar tried hard but was no match for the winner.
“She ran up to her best. Probabeel was just too good on the day,” Boss said.
Star Of The Seas started favourite but jockey Nash Rawiller said he didn’t enjoy the hard ground.