Champion jockey Kerrin McEvoy is looking forward to seeing what $1.5 million colt Switzerland can do when the pressure’s on after keeping his powder dry in two barrier trials in preparation for his debut at Randwick on Saturday.
The son of Snitzel, trained by Chris Waller, is already on the $26 line for the Golden Slipper in just under two months and McEvoy says he’s done everything to suggest when he does let the colt go in the Join ATC Membership Handicap (1000m) there’ll be a response.
Switzerland was beaten four lengths by Deputize in his latest trial at Rosehill on January 11 with McEvoy virtually unmoved.
“He’s a nice individual to sit on, he’s got good natural ability. He’s got a nice brain about him,’’ McEvoy said.
“He’s impressed me both times I’ve been on him at the trials and I’ve ridden him once at home. His work on Tuesday was nice and sharp.
“I think what he’s shown now has been quite promising and it’s just a matter of what happens when the Bunsen burner is applied.”
McEvoy said it’s a plus that Switzerland, $2.90 with TAB on Friday, has drawn near the rail in a race that looks to possess good early speed.
He’s shown race sense in his barrier trials and McEvoy said it comes down to how he handles the race day experience.
“He’s done it all quite nicely. He’s shown enough to say he can go there give a forward showing,’’ McEvoy said.
“The easy barrier makes it a tiny bit easier. He’s no doubt going to improve but I think he’s a nice horse moving forward.”
Union Army got the job done under McEvoy at Rosehill two weeks ago and he’s hoping for a repeat in the Precise Air Handicap (1200m).
The gelding sprouted wings from well back to score and being a backmarker McEvoy is wary he could be dictated to by the pace of the race.
“He’s a get back type of horse so I’d like to think the barrier’s not too much of an issue,’’ he said.
“When I was looking at the race the one thing I wrote down was is there much tempo.
“He ran well at Randwick two runs ago and I think he can keep progressing and be very hard to beat.”
It’s been 13 years since McEvoy won the Listed $200,000 TAB Carrington Stakes (1400m), on Jest Crewsin for Jan Bowen, and he partners the Waller-trained Rubamos once again after the horse broke a 12 month drought two weeks ago.
McEvoy is expecting a strong tempo in the Carrington with the likes of Felix Majestic and Luvoir engaged and he hopes that will help offset a tricky barrier.
“He put forward a nice last furlong to get his bib in front and an extra 100m suits,’’ he said.
“I think Randwick is no problems, he’s just got to offset that barrier to some degree. We’ll have a look at how things are unfolding and ride the race accordingly but hopefully they string out a little and we can get a nice run.”
– Racing NSW