McEvoy notches 1000th winner at Randwick
Kerrin McEvoy has come a long way since riding his first winner on a dusty track at Ceduna in South Australia to notching number 1,000 at Randwick.
His success on Brew in the Melbourne Cup of 2000 catapulted McEvoy into the spotlight just a couple of weeks after he finished his apprenticeship.
After riding the Godolphin-owned Beekeeper to third in the 2002 Melbourne Cup, McEvoy headed to Dubai and then spent several years as the number two jockey behind Frankie Dettori for Godolphin in Europe.
He returned to Australia last year, keeping his association with Sheikh Mohammed as part of the Darley Australia empire under Peter Snowden in Sydney.
But it was Rosehill trainer Chris Waller who shared in the history-making event on Tuesday as McEvoy steered former English stayer Bright Mind to victory in the AJC Convention Centre Handicap (2400m).
"It’s a relief and it’s on to the next 1,000 now," McEvoy said.
"It’s good to get it done and if I couldn’t do it on one of Darley’s then to win on this horse is the next best thing.
"I’ve won a few races on him now."
Waller, who has several European imports in his stable, said McEvoy’s overseas experience paid off with Bright Mind.
"Kerrin is very good on these types of horses and seems to have the key to the English stayers," he said.
During his time in Europe, McEvoy rode seven Group One winners including Shamardal and Dubawi, both of whom graduated to become Darley stallions.
"It’s been a good ride and I’ve been lucky to win some of the best races in the world," McEvoy said.
"Shamardal won the St James’s Palace at Royal Ascot and I won the Prix Jacques le Marois on Dubawi.
"But I still remember my first winner on the dirt track at Ceduna.
"It was Easter Saturday 1997. I was 16 years old and I think it was my 14th race ride and I won for trainer Butch Hebberman."
Life has changed for McEvoy and his wife Cathy who welcomed their first child Charlie late last year and are now firmly entrenched in Sydney.
After a rough start due to several suspensions, he is fighting out third place on the jockeys’ premiership with Glyn Schofield.
Bright Mind’s win brought up a treble for Waller in successive races after wins by Deer Valley and Every Man’s Dream.
The Darley team failed to land a winner on the program, leaving Snowden 2-1/2 wins adrift of Gai Waterhouse (78-1/2) in the battle for the Sydney trainers’ premiership.
Waller is a clear third, ending the day on 55-1/2 with Joe Pride next on 37.