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McEvoy’s Grand plan for more Cup success

Twenty-one years after winning his first Melbourne Cup, jockey Kerrin McEvoy is within reach of equalling the riding record in Australia’s greatest race.

McEvoy will join Bobbie Lewis and Harry White as a four-time Melbourne Cup-winning jockey if Grand Promenade wins the $8 million race at Flemington.

He is respected as a rider with few peers when it comes to an extended distance, honing his skills in Europe after winning the 2000 Cup on Brew.

It was a 16-year wait before he won the Melbourne Cup again, teaming up with Almandin before reuniting with the Godolphin stable when Cross Counter saluted in 2018.

Grand Promenade is rated one of the better lightweight chances with 52kg after winning his way into the Cup in a lead-up race at Flemington last month.

McEvoy’s experience could make the difference in a race in which nine jockeys are having their first Melbourne Cup ride.

“The first thing that springs to mind is to be patient, it’s a long way around there at Flemington and it’s a very tactical race,” McEvoy said.

“I’ll go out with a plan, but to be fluid at the same time because our races are forever changing and evolving and especially so over two miles at Flemington.”

Two horses were vetted before Tuesday morning’s scratching deadline with Future Score withdrawn from the race because of lameness.

Delphi has been passed fit to run, leaving a field of 23 to face the starter.

Incentivise will carry the weight of expectation for an Australian victory as an easing but pronounced favourite to complete the Caulfield Cup-Melbourne Cup double.

On the line will be a winning streak that began nine starts ago under part-owner and former trainer Steve Tregea – as well as bragging rights over the internationals.

Incentivise has been a clear-cut favourite since winning last month’s Caulfield Cup with an exhibition of staying power few Australian-bred horses can claim.

He will be ridden by Brett Prebble who won the race in 2014 for Lloyd Williams on Green Moon.

Prebble is enjoying one of his best spring carnivals, mainly due to landing the ride on Incentivise.

“He is the most talked about horse in Australia at the moment and Tuesday can’t come around quick enough,” Prebble said.

“I’m excited.”

Flemington racecourse manager Liam O’Keeffe said the track was watered overnight after 19mm of irrigation was used from Derby day until Cup eve.

“We’ve been putting plenty of water on the track because it’s going to be a drying day,” O’Keeffe said.

The Bureau of Meteorology is expecting the temperature to reach 30 degrees in Melbourne

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