Tony McEvoy insists the positives outweigh a negative ahead of Scherzoso’s tilt at the Ballarat Cup.
A significant weight drop and the engagement of a jockey who has a good understanding of the five-year-old counterbalance barrier 16 in Saturday’s $300,000 Listed race.
Scherzoso drops from 60kg to 54kg following a last-start third behind The Chairman over 1800m at Flemington on November 3 when he was ridden by apprentice Ben Allen who retains the ride on Saturday.
“He travelled beautifully last time and came out to win but he had six kilos more than the winner and I reckon it just told on him,” McEvoy said.
“He drops to the minimum in this race and goes to 2200 metres which I think is what he needs.
“I think he’s ready to take that next step.”
McEvoy said he had no hesitation engaging Allen who has ridden Scherzoso in his past four starts which include a 2000m win at Caulfield in July.
McEvoy said there was no-one that could have ridden Scherzoso any better at Flemington.
“If you have a look at his last start he was riding against (Hugh) Bowman and (Kerrin) McEvoy, all the best, and from a middle gate he put him in the one-one spot,” McEvoy said.
“It was just a beautiful ride as he showed patience and poise and gave the horse every chance.
“We wouldn’t gain anything by putting anyone else on him because no-one could have ridden him better than that.”
McEvoy said the draw was a negative and he was hoping that some time soon his luck would change on that front.
“I’ve had some shocking barriers in the past which has cost me a lot of races over the past year,” he said.
Depending on how Scherzoso runs out the 2200m of Saturday’s race, McEvoy says the Pakenham Cup (2500m) on December 3 could be on the agenda, or a trip to Sydney.
“There’s some nice stakes races as he’s effective on his Sydney leg too,” McEvoy said.
Scherzoso is rated a $16 chance in early markets with Cool Chap the $7 favourite.