Cup winners reunite for tilt at Tancred
KERRIN McEvoy will be reunited with Almandin for the first time since their 2016 Melbourne Cup victory in Saturday's Group 1 $1.5m Tancred Stakes at Rosehill Gardens while Hugh Bowman is preparing for an international riding stint that could include Winx at Royal Ascot.
Bowman will ride in Sydney through until April 21 and then leave to take up a riding contract in Japan through to the end of May.
The world's top-rated jockey could have an extended period overseas with a decision expected as early as Tuesday whether champion mare Winx races at England's Royal Ascot meeting in June.
Bowman will be chasing a third successive Tancred Stakes on Saturday when he partners veteran stayer Who Shot Thebarman. The jockey has won the race on Preferment (2016) and Jameka (2017), plus Fiveandahalfstar (2013).
There are 12 early entries for the nation's premier 2400m weight-for-age race including owner Lloyd Williams' duo, Almandin and The Taj Mahal.
Williams has asked McEvoy to ride Almandin for the first time since the jockey and stayer combined to win the 2016 Melbourne Cup.
McEvoy, who is also booked to ride talented filly Luvaluva in the Group 1 $500,000 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) on Saturday, put super sprinter Redzel through his paces in a 1000m heat on the new Kensington track at Royal Randwick on Tuesday.
Redzel was wearing blinkers and meant business, racing away to win the heat by three lengths, recording 58.03s (last 600m in 33.5s). The horse and track drew praise from McEvoy.
"Redzel felt great and he is coming along very well for the T.J. Smith Stakes (Randwick, April 7),'' McEvoy said.
"I thought the Kensington track raced well, too. The track seems to have a good base to it.''
Australian Turf Club track manager Lindsay Murphy said the reports from jockeys who rode in the three Kensington barrier trials on Monday was "very positive".
"There was no kickback from the track surface and they were running good times,'' Murphy said. "We will have a few more gallops on the track in the next couple of weeks and at this stage it is all looking good to have the first race meeting there on April 18.''
Also among Tancred Stakes entries are Gailo Chop and Single Gaze, who ran first and second in the Ranvet Stakes last Saturday.
Godolphin has announced Hartnell will be kept fresh for the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) at the April 21 Randwick meeting, the final day of the Sydney autumn carnival.
LATEST BETTING: LADBROKES
TANCRED STAKES (From nominations)
Gailo Chop $2.30
Single Gaze $7
The Taj Mahal $10