D’Argento will be out to give leading jockey Kerrin McEvoy his first win in the Cox Plate.
Star jockey Kerrin McEvoy continues to chase an elusive Cox Plate win.
And unless there is a boilover at Moonee Valley on Saturday when he rides D’Argento, in the $5 million race against champion stablemate Winx, McEvoy will have to wait for at least another year.
“They might be a bit easier to win post-Winx, without putting the moz on her career,” McEvoy said.
“But she’s had the stranglehold on the race which has made it hard for opposition jockeys to get their name on the winners’ list.”
McEvoy, who turned 38 this week, has a list of feature race wins that few among the current riding crop in Australia can match.
Just this month he added a second win in the world’s richest race on turf, The Everest at Randwick.
He has two Melbourne Cups, a Caulfield Cup, a Golden Slipper and 65 other Group One wins to his name.
McEvoy would become just the eighth rider to win what are considered the four ‘majors’ of Australian racing – Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate, Golden Slipper – if D’Argento can cause an upset on Saturday.
But Winx, to be ridden by her regular rider Hugh Bowman, is a short-priced favourite in the eight-horse field to win an unprecedented fourth Cox Plate.
McEvoy was third last year on Folkswood when Winx joined Kingston Town as a three-time winner.
Among McEvoy’s other Cox Plate rides was Viscount in a memorable 2001 edition when he finished a close third to champions Northerly and Sunline.
Last season’s Rosehill Guineas winner, D’Argento was third to Winx in the Winx Stakes first-up this spring before seconds in the Theo Marks Stakes and Epsom Handicap.
He was fifth in the Caulfield Stakes last start, won by Cox Plate rival Benbatl.
D’Argento is a son of stallion So You Think who won two Cox Plates.
“I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be a great event,” McEvoy said.
“He’s a nice quality colt.
“You’d like to think the more forgiving surface at Moonee Valley is going to suit him better than the firmish Caulfield on Guineas day.
“I reckon he’ll handle the Valley and run really well.”
McEvoy, however, also knows the enormity of the task.
“I might be in front of her (Winx) in the run and you’ve just got to ride your race like she’s not there,” he said.
“And you hope for the best.
“He’s put up some nice figures in his few runs back so you go there confident he can put up a PB, and wherever that gets him we’ll wait and see.”