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McEvoy eager to link with FNQ product during TAB Queensland Racing Carnival

Wed 27 April 2022

By Jordan Gerrans

Champion hoop Kerrin McEvoy has been the maestro of Group 1 races in the Sunshine State in recent years and he is hopeful of handing a Mareeba product a black-type race or two over the TAB Queensland Racing Carnival.

The 41-year-old jockey links up with experienced trainer John O'Shea, who hails from FNQ, this Saturday in the first afternoon of the carnival and is likely to stick with his team throughout the coming weeks.

Speaking at the carnival launch earlier this week, McEvoy flagged the likelihood of O’Shea having a strong campaign in the Sunshine State across the winter.

“He has got a good team coming up here and I have got a few rides for him over the next few weeks,” McEvoy said.


“I am looking forward to getting a winner for him, for sure.”

The pair have Robodira in the three-year-old Quality Handicap on Saturday as well as Bend The Knee aiming towards the Group 2 Queensland Guineas over a mile.

They were also set to partner with Quantico in the TAB Victory Stakes before the horse came through a routine gallop earlier this week with a minor issue and will be spelled.

The Sydney-based McEvoy’s record speaks for itself in Queensland in recent years, riding 11 Group 1 winners over the last decade, a massive seven more than any other rider at the level across that time.

He has 15 victories at the highest level in Queensland on his resume so far.

His love affair with the Sunshine State started way back in 2001 and he has most recently claimed the iconic Stradbroke Handicap with Trekking in 2019.

“To be able to have your name on the Stradbroke honour list and the Doomben 10,000, and a few others, it is a great feat,” McEvoy said.

“You do feel at home when you walk into the Eagle Farm track here, it is one of my most favourite tracks in Australia. I cannot wait to get back here and ride.”

When he does venture to Queensland, McEvoy says he enjoys being able to add on a few days to the trip around riding on Saturday to enjoy some quality time with his family.

Respected mounting yard analyst  Lizzie Jelfs believes McEvoy is a rider to watch come the TAB Queensland Racing Carnival every year.

“Kerrin is an absolute superstar,” Jelfs said.

“He has proven, not only in Australia, but all around the world that he is able to ride competitively at the Group 1 level.

“Coming here to Queensland is a great opportunity for him to ride winners and he definitely targets this carnival and has really made a good fist of it in recent times.”


The multiple Melbourne Cup winner was aboard the Snitzel colt, Bend The Knee, in Melbourne late last year and is keen to get back on him this week.

The duo combined to claim the Listed The Amanda Elliott in November and the O’Shea colt has had two runs back this time in, both at Listed level in Sydney, where he has grown into his preparation through the wet ground. 

“He is a horse I rode in the spring and he has come on fantastically well since that preparation coming towards this preparation,” McEvoy said.

“He has been plagued by the wet tracks a little bit, he has been scratched a few times, but he was great first-up the other day in a race at Randwick and I rode him in work on Tuesday morning and he looks to have come on from that run.

“He looks to be a great ride for me this Saturday, I think he can run a really bold race.”

McEvoy expects Bend The Knee to appreciate the Eagle Farm surface this Saturday afternoon.

“If it gets anywhere near a good, it will be perfect ground for him,” McEvoy said.

“He is a quality horse and he has improved into this three-year-old part of his campaign, I will look for him to run a good race.”

Looking ahead through the carnival, the respected hoop also is looking forward to getting on Huetor, for the Snowden camp.