Kerrin McEvoy has been booked to ride quality Kiwi mare Bonneval in the Caulfield Cup later this month.
Co-trainer Murray Baker has confirmed the engagement after the NZ Horse of the Year extended her winning Group-race sequence to six with an impressive third Group One win in the Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on Sunday.
Bonneval was ridden by Hugh Bowman in the victory over Hartnell and Bowman was also in the saddle when she annihilated her opposition last autumn in the Gr.1 Australian Oaks (2400m), while Damian Lane had the ride when she scored fresh-up in the Gr.2 Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley.
"She's only got 52.5kgs in the Caulfield Cup and that rules Hugh Bowman out and Damian Lane is booked to ride Humidor," Baker said. "Kerrin has been on the radar for some time and I'm happy to get him. He won the Emirates Stakes on Turn Me Loose for us and he's a top big-race rider."
Baker is thrilled with the way Bonneval has come through her Underwood Stakes run.
"She's still got her winter coat so there's more improvement in her," Baker said yesterday.
Bonneval will round off her preparation for the Gr.1 A$3 million Caulfield Cup (2400m) with a start in the Gr.1 A$1 million Caulfield Stakes, a weight-for-age 2000 metres a week earlier.
"Damian Lane will ride her in the Caulfield Stakes," Baker said. "It's the same weekend as the Everest in Sydney and Kerrin and Hughie will be riding there."
Baker will have two definite starters in the Caulfield Stakes with Jon Snow, winner of last Friday evening's Gr.3 JRA Cup (2040m), set to join Bonneval. Lizzie L'Amour is also a possible starter in the event.
"Lizzie (L'Amour) will either run in the Caulfield Stakes or in the Cranbourne Cup the next day," Baker said. "The Cranbourne Cup is worth A$300,000. We'll decide closer to the time.
"She's flying at the moment, but she just needs a bit of luck and she hasn't been getting it. She was desperately unlucky last Friday night. Hugh (Bowman) said she should have won. She ran the fastest last 400 metres."
Lizzie L'Amour suffered an atrial fibrillation in her Australian debut in the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes then was held up on the fence and late clear when sixth behind I Am A Star in last Friday night's Gr.2 Stocks Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley.
"She's 29th in order for the Caulfield Cup and got only 51.5kgs," Baker said. "There will be dropouts but it will be touch and go whether she scrapes in."
Jon Snow has 54.5kg in the Caulfield Cup and Baker has opted for the Caulfield Stakes rather than the Herbert Power Handicap as the next start for the Australian Derby winner.
"We can't risk running him in the Herbert Power and winning it because he would get a rehandicap," Baker said. "It's better to run him in the Caulfield Stakes."
Baker is also pleased with the three-year-old Weather With You, who will start next in the Listed UCI Stakes (1800m) at Flemington on Saturday.
- NZ Racing Desk