McEvoy returns a winner
Kerrin McEvoy had his family along for support as he returned to race riding in the best way with a victory at Canterbury on Wednesday.
McEvoy’s wife Cathy and their two young sons Charlie and Jake were on hand to see the jockey guide Palomares to victory in the Clubmart Handicap (1250m).
It was McEvoy’s first day back riding in races since he fractured a vertebra in his back in a fall at Gosford in June.
“It’s the little fella’s first day at the races,” McEvoy said, referring to his five-and-a-half month old son Jake.
“I brought them along for a bit of support.”
The jockey eased his way back with two rides at Canterbury, finishing fourth in the opening race on Caveat before booting Palomares to an easy win later in the day.
“It’s good to be back,” McEvoy said.
“I was one of the kids at home there for a while so it’s good to get out and do a bit of work.”
McEvoy spent nine weeks in a body brace following his fall in the Takeover Target Stakes aboard Skytrain.
After getting out of the brace, the 29-year-old has been undergoing a rehab program for the past two months as he eyed his comeback to the saddle.
The Melbourne Cup-winning rider is now looking forward to the next few weeks with the Melbourne Cup just around the corner where he is expected to ride Godolphin’s Campanologist.
“To get a winner early doors, it’s like getting off the mark in cricket,” McEvoy said.
“That’s the way you want to start off.”
Darley’s number one rider has been working with a sports physiologist and credited him with helping speed up his return to the track.
He said his time on the sidelines made him appreciate being fit and healthy.
“One thing, definitely, is that you appreciate that you’ve got your health,” he said.
Palomares is only lightly-raced and scored her second win at just her fourth start.
The filly, who started the $2.25 favourite, sat outside the leader and then sprinted clear in the straight to defeat She’s A Silvertail and Milanesa.
McEvoy will continue his comeback with two rides at Hawkesbury on Thursday, five at Rosehill on Saturday and another three at Wyong on Sunday.
“The plan is to go to Melbourne (during Cup week) and have a few rides but at the same time we’ll be guided by how I go,” he said.
“But I’m feeling good, the body is good, and I’ve just got to start performing. It’s good to get a winner on the first day.”