Party time for McEvoy after Itstheone wins Ballarat Cup
Jockey Kerrin McEvoy was planning a double celebration after dedicating his first Ballarat Cup win on Itstheone to his son Charlie on his first birthday.
McEvoy was granted leave from the Sydney-based Darley operation to ride at Wednesday’s Cup meeting and enjoy a family reunion and birthday celebrations.
He picked up the ride on the Mark Kavanagh-trained Itstheone after riding him when a last-start second to stablemate Raffaello at Flemington on November 7.
"It is well worth coming, that’s for sure," said McEvoy whose wife Cathy hails from the famous Payne racing family in Ballarat.
"It is nice to win my first Ballarat Cup and win it for our little boy Charlie on his first birthday.
"He’s at the Payne household now and we are having a party after the last race."
McEvoy had Itstheone ($4.40 fav) relaxed and travelling midfield and urged him home to a length win over Gallions Reach ($15) and Davcon ($16) who looked set to win halfway up the straight when he kicked clear.
Itstheone ran the 2200 metres in 2:14.46 which was the fastest Ballarat Cup since Aquiver set the course record when winning in 2:14 in 2001.
The victory capped an outstanding spring carnival for Mark Kavanagh who won the Melbourne Cup with Shocking.
Kavanagh initially forged his career on fixing up broken-down horses and Itstheone, a seven-year-old, is another example of his uncanny ability to get the best out of an injury-prone galloper.
Formerly trained by Lee Freedman, Itstheone joined the Kavanagh stable a year ago after having knee surgery.
After winning his second start for Kavanagh at Flemington last December he chipped his knee again when he finished sixth to Banana Man in the Mornington Cup in February.
He was having only his fifth run for the spring and the 27th of his career when he posted his sixth win in the Ballarat Cup.
"He’s had a few problems and he deserved to win one," Kavanagh’s assistant trainer Merv Harvey said.
"He put the writing on the wall last start at Flemington and Kerrin was keen to ride him again which was a good sign."
Last year’s Ballarat Cup winner Daka’s Gem finished fourth while Sentire, who won the 2007 Cup and was second in 2008, finished 11th.
The Bart Cummings-trained Dandaad was fifth while Bourbonstreetblues’ ended a four-Cup winning streak when finishing sixth.
Harvey said that the spring had finished too soon for Itstheone.
"Any Cup is good to win and this is a good way to finish the spring carnival," Harvey said.
"We will probably just keep him going now and see what happens."
By Robert Windmill